Baby’s First Christmas
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