There are numerous events that have happened over the past forty-seven years, some I can remember better than others. However, there are certain memories from my childhood that are as clear in my mind today as they were forty years ago. Those special times never seem to fade like so many other memories. They are always present, fresh, and crisp in my mind.
One set of memories that I have is an accumulation of several of the same memory. That is to say, every year just before Christmas my parents would place a book in my lap and let me read through any section I wanted. It didn’t matter whether I was six, eight, ten, or twelve years old I always longed for the Christmas season just so I could look through the “BOOK!” At this point I should probably explain what book I am talking about. I would love to say that at the age of six and up I longed for the opportunity to flip through the pages of the Bible at Christmas time and read the nativity story; however, that would be a bit of a fabrication—okay, it would be a blatant lie.
In the early years of my life, there was only one book that could take me away from racing Hot Wheels, riding my bike, climbing trees, playing baseball, or watching countless hours of “Gilligan’s Island,” “Andy Griffith,” and “Gomer Pyle.” Only one book could bring to a halt a hyperactive child that only knew two aspects of life—sleep and play! What book had such a powerful effect over me? Quite simply the “Sears Christmas Catalog.” You can laugh, but it is true. Each year my parents would give me a sheet of paper and “The Book,” then I would write down everything I wanted for Christmas.
What a wonderous time of the year! I was able to look through over 200 pages of toys and write down ANYTHING I wanted. The excitement was almost too much for a child to endure. My mind would race as I would imagine playing with each toy that I add to my ever-growing list. The anticipation of Christmas morning was excruciating as I continued to examine my list of 50, 60, and sometimes over 70 different toys. What made the wait even worse was the knowledge that within a matter days any ten of these could be all mine! The memory of these years are very special to me. That was a special time of the year when I could ask for whatever I wanted and know that I would be given a few of the toys on the list.
With Christmas racing upon me so quickly, I begin to think about the “Book.” These memories lead me to begin a mental checklist of things I would like to get this year for Christmas—a dozen golf balls, a new television, or any number of items that I think I need. The problem is there is no longer a book to look through nor a list to be made. The nervous sleepless nights just before Christmas are no longer an annual event. I guess it is all part of “growing up.”
I suspect all this sounds a bit depressing, and to be perfectly honest there have been times throughout the years I let the loneliness of the season bring me down. But this year I decided it would be different. This year I determined to look through the Book and write down what I want for Christmas. However, this year I made a list of things that if asked for I am guaranteed to get them. So, over the next few days we are going to look through the book, not the Sears Christmas catalog, but “The Book” better known as the Holy Bible as I share with you my Christmas list for 2011.
I hope you’ll check back tomorrow as we begin looking at “All I Want For Christmas.”