How To Astonish Your Family and Friends This Christmas
There is really only one Christmas in particular that my entire family will never forget. Neither will a lot of my friends. My three sons talk about it all the time. I´m quite certain that my great-grand kids will be told an embellished version of ´Our Mom´s Astonishing Attempt at a New Christmas Tradition´ for generations to come . I´m actually tickled because it really wasn´t easy making such a dramatic and lasting impression on a bunch of anxious and curious teenage boys who were eagerly anticipating their Christmas presents. The expressions on their faces clearly showed that they were hoping their gifts were much bigger than the tiny, rolled up scrolls they observed sticking out of the stockings that were hanging from the mantle.
It all began one gloomy, cold December night. Christmas was just around the corner and it was about to catch me flat broke while at the same time my credit was way over it´s limit. Not a particularly pleasant spot to be in just days before Christmas. Suddenly, God gave me the most ingenious idea. I can not begin to tell you how much fun I had preparing what He showed me. I laughed until my sides hurt. which was a far cry from the night before when I feared that Christmas ´91 could traumatize and scar my kids for life.
I quickly assembled supplies and paper as I put on a large pot of coffee and got busy making homemade gift certificates for everyone. I started with the boys first. I imprinted each piece of paper with ´This Certificate Entitles You To:´ Then I listed things as follows:
* A Weekly Joy Ride To The Local Mall -- (allowance temporarily suspended - window shopping strongly recommended)
* My Solo Rendition of ´Silent Night´ -- (redeemable upon demand; instrumental accompaniment not included, bring your own piano)
* Eight Hours of Nonstop, Continuous, Stimulating Conversation -- (your participation not required but your undivided attention is absolutely essential)
* Sixty Hours of Disaster and Emergency Relief -- (experienced, military-style supervision available while you clean your desk, room and closet)
* Saturday Night at the Movies --(black & white westerns featuring John Wayne and the Lone Ranger; advance seating not available but buckets of popcorn included)
* Unlimited Supply of Free Hugs and Kisses --(redeemable any time and anywhere, just close your eyes and pucker lips)
These were simply God-ordained so I was surprised when the boys seemed totally disinterested in my valiant creation and I was hurt when one commented, "OK, that´s nice, now where are the REAL presents.?" Then he walked round and round the tree while repeating, "Come on, they´ve got to be around here somewhere."
My parents were presented with certificates entitling them to ´Twelve Piping Hot All-You-Can-Eat Home-cooked Gourmet Dinners -- no reservations necessary, just bring your own dessert.´ My dad just peered over his bifocals while shaking his head. He didn´t seem amused.
Our very good friends were also offered renditions of ´Silent Night/Holy Night´ but they declined the offer. Their only comment was, "Please, promise us you won´t sing."
I thought my brightest idea was for our pastor. I offered him ´Free Rook Lessons, (playing cards not included of course)´, but he let me know in a hurry that he didn´t think there was anything wrong with the way he played Rook.
Remembering that Christmas still puts the biggest grin on my face as God wipes away the tears from my eyes. But what thrills me the most is the birthday card I made for Jesus. I know He just loved it!