Lately my spam folder has been filling up with emails telling me that I have an opportunity to give my children a Christmas they will always remember. I haven’t read the messages to see what will accomplish this feat — I’m a little lazy that way. However, it got me to think about one Christmas, when my daughter was young, that I tried to give her a memorable Christmas.
This was back in the 90s, and we were all much more naïve about the Internet, etc. There was a website that offered the ability to “send an email to Santa” on behalf of your kids. I thought it was a cute idea, so I called my daughter in to my office to compose her note to Santa. She wasn’t sure, at first, what she wanted to ask Santa to bring her, but finally settled on a pair of ballet shoes.
We hit send, and I realized that ballet shoes hadn’t been on the radar for either my wife or me. It was Christmas eve, and I went out in the snow to look for ballet shoes in my daughter’s size that wouldn’t break the bank. I finally found them in a little shop that was ready to close for the evening. I bought the slippers, rushed home, and packed them under the tree for Christmas morning.
At the time, my daughter was delighted with her gift, and she went on to ballet lessons for a few years until she moved on to something else. However, the important lesson for me was this: she doesn’t remember. She knows it happened, because we talk about parenting, and cute things that happened, and tricks we played, and times the tricks backfired on us. However, she has no recollection of that particular Christmas. What she does remember is growing up knowing that Santa was a game we played with one another, and that presents really came from our friends and family.
So, make it a Christmas they’ll never forget? Maybe not. Just as the many gifts that get less play than the boxes they came in, most of our efforts to make this Christmas inoubliable end with the child surprising us with an astonishing lack of concern with the things of this world, and the current trends. Perhaps that’s one reason the “child” of Christmas, many years after His celebrated birth, admonished us to remember that, unless one comes like a little child, one will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.