One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories includes wrapping presents.
Each year, I helped mom wrap gifts for family and friends. Working quietly in the back bedroom, we tried not to draw attention since unwrapped presents waited for their protective covering.
Even though we knew to lock the door, sometimes we forgot. Then a curious, intentional door opener in the form of one, or both, of my brothers would spring into action and try to sneak a peek.
We learned to cover the gifts as quickly as possible when we heard the doorknob click, realizing an imminent invasion. In addition to intrusion problems, after about every third present one of us “lost” the tape or scissors.
“Now where did the tape go? I just had it.” Followed by, “Have you seen the scissors?”
Even when we learned to bring two tape dispensers and two pairs of scissors, the “lost sock in the dryer” problem seemed to take center stage. We knew they were on the bed, but how did they learn to play hide-and-seek?
The next step involved finding hiding places for the gifts until Christmas. Living in a small house with five people made the mission challenging year after year.
Since certain family members considered it their role to discover as many gifts as possible before Christmas, cleverness was key.
Closets were too obvious, but with limited options, we made an effort to be creative. A coat in the back of a closet encased several gifts, and blankets provided coverage for others.
With the inventory resting in their temporary homes, we discuss how to remember each location. One year we wrote a list, only to cause a new dilemma of where to put it.
Once Christmas morning arrives, my brothers and I race down the short hallway to the living room and scramble to see which gifts belong to us.
Within a minute, my brother wakes up mother and daddy by turning on the bedroom light. After recovering from the light alarm, they join us.
Before opening presents, daddy attempts to redirect our almost uncontainable excitement. He reads passages from the Bible explaining God’s gift of sending His Son.
While the busyness of buying, wrapping, and hiding gifts had distracted from the most important gift, mother and daddy ingrained in their children to focus on the birth and life of Jesus Christ.
I praise God for the gift of my parent’s loving witness on Christmas and every day.
Especially this year−the first time they celebrate in heaven together.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ ” Luke 2:8-12 (NKJV)
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
Nancy Frantel lives in Virginia, and is a published author of three history books, public speaker and researcher. Prior to becoming a writer she worked in corporate management. A “life interruption” injury in 2010 limited her ability to work as a writer. In 2017, she attended several Christian writing conferences, and felt led to start over in a different genre. Her goal is to write inspirational and encouraging stories based on her experiences, lessons learned by trusting God, and individuals He provides along the way.