As a child Christmas was about anticipation. Anticipation of summer holidays that meant no more school, looking forward to summer vacations at the beach. Of course the excitement of dressing the Christmas tree meant presents and we eagerly participated in the-night-before-Christmas ritual preparing Santa’s slice of Christmas cake and a bottle of Coca Cola to wash it down with (he had a strong constitution). In the hope of pre-empting Santa, we wrote him letters thanking him for what we hoped we would find under the tree on Christmas morning. Whilst some years Santa’s insight into the desires of a child’s heart was sorely lacking, generally our anticipation was handsomely rewarded.
As an adult, my anticipation of Christmas is not diminished, although the focus has changed. When our children were still at home Christmas was exciting for us as parents to see their faces on Christmas morning as they opened presents.
Now that we live across oceans from family, Christmas has come to mean something different for the MOTH (Man of The House) and myself. As a Christian I look forward to the festive season as an opportunity to serve and watch the wonder in small children’s eyes. To celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and to remember that no matter how troubled I might be about issues on so many levels, He is the one that brings Peace and Goodwill.
Because we live across oceans from family we choose to spend Christmas in the service of others. For some years now we have volunteered at the Christmas Day luncheon organised by locally charities. This year for the first time, my workplace is hosting a Christmas Day lunch and that is where we will be; with anticipation in our hearts as we share joy, companionship and laughter.