A Christmas Memory


Growing up in a very traditional family the Christmas holiday season was magical. While we were far from wealthy (we actually lived less than a block from the train tracks), the lights of the tree, my mother’s cooking, and the love and laughter of family made us quite rich indeed.


When my wife and were blessed with children, we tried to provide them a similar experience. Each year we attended our church services, decorated our home, and our holiday seasons continued to be filled with love and family.


As our three sons were blessed with families of their own, they continued the Christmas tradition. Although distance would not always allow all the families to be together, each of them celebrated in similar fashion. By this time, my parents were living with my wife and myself, and even as adults, it was still a wonderful and magical time of year.


Now, as it happened one year, my parents had traveled to be with my sister and her family during the holidays. Each of our sons had scheduled to be with the families of their wives. My wife and I, for the first time in our lives, found ourselves alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We were not devastated, but it just felt a bit strange.


On Christmas Eve, as scheduled we attended the children’s program at our church. This was something we loved each year because the children were always excited and, well . . just kids. Their music and skits were wonderful.


They also ran late each year. As we drove away from our church that Christmas Eve I turned to my wife and said, “I’m hungry.” We decided to stop by our favorite little Chinese reastaurant to see if it was still open. It was, barely.


As we entered, there was only one couple in the dimly lit small dining area. As we sat down, that couple left leaving us completely alone. Christmas Eve and we were alone in a Chinese restaurant.


The owner, who we knew, came out and informed us when we finished our meal they were going to close and go home. Just as we began to eat, and beginning to feel a bit depressed, several people came through the door. It was a family from another church and they had brought a family that was down on their luck for a nice dinner after their service. They sat next to us and we all got aquainted. The children in both families were all happy and quite well behaved. Before we knew it, other families began to appear, many of whom had brought families from their churches. Before we knew it, the restaurant was full of adults and children laughing and enjoying each other’s company. I don’t think the lighting had actually changed, but for some reason it now seemed bright and sparkling.


After a wonderful evening at our church and what we almost believe to be a Christmas miracle of love and fellowship at our Chinese restaurant, my wife and I headed home filled with the Christmas spirit. As we snuggled up in front of our fireplace, we agreed it was one of the best evenings of our lives. It’s a wonderful Christmas memory.

Merry Christmas to you all.