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Christmas Is Just the Beginning

All of our attention has been focused on Christmas Day – decorating the house, buying a tree, sending Christmas cards, and buying presents for our family. I think it’s amazing how we can perfectly remember all of those Christmases when we were young – what we hoped to receive, what we actually received, and who came for a visit on Christmas Day. But now try to remember what you did the day after Christmas Day? Did you help your mother pick up all of the wrappings? Perhaps clean up the house after all of the guests had left? Or did you begin the slow process of taking down the Christmas ornaments and carefully laying them away for the following year?

Since I grew up on a farm, there were no opening of presents until all of the livestock were fed and had fresh bedding, and then only after the family had eaten breakfast together. This was perhaps the longest wait in my life from the time that I heard my father arise on Christmas morning to go out to the barn until the time that the family would open their Christmas presents. What did Santa Claus bring?  But the answer to that question had to wait since there were cows to be milked, chickens to be fed, the barn to be cleaned, and breakfast to be eaten before any presents were opened!

After the presents were opened, Christmas morning flew by in a flash. Christmas dinner on the farm meant that we would go over to Grandmother’s house just across the road where she would be making a huge Christmas dinner for her family – my Uncle Arnie, Aunt Edna, and Cousin Lee. And there again, Christmas wishes were exchanged with perhaps a few Christmas presents exchanged after dinner. My Aunt and Uncle would leave for their home in Ashland, Ohio and like clockwork, the chores began at 4:30 pm with the feeding of the cows and then milking the cows at 5:00 pm.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what I did the day after Christmas. It was just like any other day on the farm and I guess that our routine was so set that there was nothing memorable to remember! As I look back now, it’s taken me a lifetime to open and un-wrap the real gift that was given to us on Christmas Day. My Sunday school teachers had taught me about this wonderful gift that God had given us in the form of the baby Jesus but I wasn’t old enough to understand or to appreciate the word salvation or eternity.

Jeanette and I wish all of our readers a very merry Christmas. We hope that your Christmas will be filled with family and friends. But don’t worry about not remembering what you did the day after Christmas. God has given all of us the most marvelous gift imaginable. But it’s going to take most of us our whole lifetime to fully appreciate that gift!  Christmas is just the beginning.

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