An­other Christ­mas up the chim­ney

Record Observer - - NEWS -

It hardly seems pos­si­ble that an­other Christ­mas has come and gone. I think it comes quicker than it goes, but then that is just my opin­ion.

We were sit­ting for the last time around the Christ­mas tree which was about to be dis­as­sem­bled and I hap­pen to say, “I can’t be­lieve Christ­mas is over. Where does the time go?”

To that, the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age looked at me and said, “The older you get, the faster time goes.”

I re­mem­ber as if it was yes­ter­day when with­out think­ing, which is usu­ally dan­ger­ous for me, I once re­sponded, “You must know.”

I got the “stare” that en­cour­aged me not to re­spond in that vein ever again.

How­ever, and you didn’t hear it from me, she is right. She is al­ways right. The older I get, the faster time seems to go. I can­not be­lieve that not only is Christ­mas past, but the whole year is passed. It is all just his­tor y now. But, oh, what his­tory it was. Some­times it is in­ter­est­ing to think back over the past year and re­mem­ber some of the great oc­ca­sions. By great oc­ca­sions, I mean the mi­nuses and the pluses. Some mem­o­ries are good and some mem­o­ries are, well, you know.

This is the ge­nius of get­ting older. Now that I have an­other Christ­mas un­der my belt, I can mesh to­gether two or three Christ­mases as though it was one Christ­mas oc­ca­sion. After all, who is go­ing to know, apart from the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age?

When­ever I be­gin the phrase, “I re­mem­ber a Christ- mas when…” I need to look at my wife to see if she is lis­ten­ing. Of course, if she is not lis­ten­ing, I can go along and in­vent my own Christ­mas tree story. I like to do that.

There was the time when I first did this with­out notic­ing my wife was lis­ten­ing and at ev­ery turn of my story, she cor­rected me. By the time I was done telling “our” story, I did not re­mem­ber what I said.

Years ago, how­ever, I have learned how to tell these Christ­mas mem­o­ries and not get into trou­ble. One of the great things about be­ing a hus­band is that you are on a learn­ing curve. If you just pay at­ten­tion, you learn how to deal with cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. When it comes to Christ­mas sto­ries and mem­o­ries, I have mas­tered the learn­ing curve.

I al­ways be­gin it this way, “My dear,” re­fer­ring to my wife, “do you re­mem­ber that Christ­mas when…” That is about all I have to say and she will take the story from there. For­tu­nately for me, or un­for­tu­nately, it just de­pends, I have no idea which way she is go­ing.

Sev­eral times, I learned things about one of our Christ­mases that I did not know be­fore. Maybe I did know it be­fore, but I had for­got­ten it and I am go­ing to let it sit there. I am not go­ing to in­fer that she made up any mem­ory for the storytelling. I will not sug­gest that the mem­ory she was talk­ing about had noth­ing to do with our Christ­mas his­tory.

That is just the kind of hus­band I am. I will never, ever, cor­rect my wife about any­thing. Even when she makes a mis­take in our check­book, I do the “hus­band math,” cor­rect it and not men­tion it.

It is not all bad. Re­cently we were sit­ting drink­ing some cof­fee look­ing for the last evening at the Christ­mas tree think­ing about Christ­mases in the past. Then I heard her chuck­ling. She does not usu­ally chuckle like this, but it was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

“Do you re­mem­ber,” she said still chuck­ling, “the Christ­mas tree that col­lapsed on Christ­mas morn­ing?”

I had to stop and rewind my mem­ory ma­chine and then I re­mem­bered. It is amazing what you can re­mem­ber when you have a lit­tle bit of in­cen­tive.

We had just moved into a new par­son­age, it was our first Christ­mas there, and the chil­dren were rather young. Only one of them was go­ing to school at the time. It was Christ­mas morn­ing and as we got up the kids were so ex­cited about Christ­mas and the Christ­mas gifts un­der the tree that they just went crazy.

My wife and I sat back, watch them and laughed as they were laugh­ing to­gether.

We were go­ing to have an or­derly open­ing of Christ­mas gifts, at least that was our plan. The kids, how­ever, were so ex­cited that they delved into the pile of Christ­mas presents, not know­ing that be­hind them was the Christ­mas tree.

All at once, with­out any kind of warn­ing, the Christ­mas tree fell over and al­most hit one of the kids. There was a trio of scream­ing that I think would have scared Santa Claus him­self.

No­body was hurt, but three lit­tle munchkins were ter­ri­bly fright­ened. They were so fright­ened they did not want to open up their Christ­mas presents.

Think­ing about this, my wife and I chuck­led most heartily. From then on, the chil­dren never over­looked the Christ­mas tree and with a great deal of cau­tion opened up their Christ­mas presents.

In rem­i­nisc­ing about this, I thought of what the an­gel said to the shep­herds that night so long ago, “Fear not: for, be­hold, I bring you good tid­ings of great joy, which shall be to all peo­ple,” (Luke 2:10).

The years come and go but the most im­por­tant thing are the mem­o­ries they leave be­hind.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Tele­phone 1-866-552-2543, email jamess­ny­ Web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­istries. com.

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