Baby’s First Christ­mas

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Acou­ple of weeks be­fore Thanks­giv­ing in 1994, my fa­ther came down with shin­gles. Laura, our first­born, was just a tiny baby. Dad could not be near her for five to six weeks. This was so hard on him, miss­ing the lit­tle girl named af­ter his mother, whom he just adored. We would bring Laura to their front porch so he could at least see her through the win­dow. We put up our Christ­mas tree the day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing, and made sure that we had even more lights than usual and that the dec­o­ra­tions were brighter than ever. Christ­mas Day would be the first time in weeks that Dad could hold Laura. Plus, it was her first Christ­mas! When the day came, Dad had tears in his eyes as he cra­dled our daugh­ter. He kept talk­ing to her, say­ing her name over and over. Though Santa was good to her (he brought her a toy for her crib and a stuffed Min­nie Mouse), Laura’s fa­vorite thing was our tree. She spent hours look­ing at all it had to of­fer: lights, col­or­ful or­na­ments, beads and a shin­ing star at the top. Christ­mas to me is al­ways about fam­ily and the cel­e­bra­tion of Je­sus’ birth. That year, we had two gifts from God—the Baby Je­sus and Laura. To see Christ­mas through her eyes was to know God’s love.

MELANIE MCKEN­ZIE Ur­bana, Ohio

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