A Christmas Memory

I’ve always loved Christmas, and the season of anticipation leading up to it. But as with other annual celebrations, not everything about it is equally gratifying.

When I became a licensed teenage driver, it was decided that I would be the designated chauffeur for my grandmother as she delivered gifts to her elderly friends. The thought didn’t fill me with glee.

It meant a full afternoon, shortly before Christmas, of driving all around the Harrisburg area with my grandmother, as she made the annual connection with old acquaintances. To my youthful restlessness, this sounded like entering a stuffy old world of folks with whom I had nothing in common. I fulfilled this task for at least 2 or 3 years, as I remember.

But the actual experience turned out to be somewhat different from my expectations. I’m sure that meeting the challenge of navigating the directions to destinations around the countryside was part of the satisfaction (to a young driver).

It was more than that, though. I can’t recall much about any of the specific visits. But something about watching the connecting of old friends, of the “gifting,” and warmth of interest shown in asking about me and my life, somehow added up to a journey I returned from with a sense of satisfaction.

Christmas can be a wonderful time for the coming together of people from different walks of life, different “worlds” of experience. It is, after all, a celebration of the most amazing coming together of all – of the God of the universe coming to join us in human form, as a baby.

How can you – how can we – plan for this to be a time of such relating, of recognizing the gift it can be when barriers come down, and humanity is celebrated?

May this coming season bring you unexpected encounters of unusual warmth!



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