The first feeling embraces me in October; with the smell of mandarins. It’s like I’m carried through time and can touch some of that special season of the year. Why is it that the month of December is so much better than all the other “cold” months of the year? Surely, we all enjoy the traditional food that follows, not to speak about the cakes, drinks and sweets that we devour in our nicely decorated homes. Still, within there is something more that is stirred up…
I remember how I would wake up the 1st of December and run towards the calendar that my mum had carefully made. Small gifts wrapped up in shiny paper and attached to a green board with red flannel hearts. At school, my favorite teacher would start the day by letting us light the advent candles and singing: “…waiting for the small child in the manger”.
My grandfather, the best and funniest old man I know, lives in a big house with a lovely garden and his own forest. On the 23rd we would bring a sledge out into the forest where the trees were loaded with snow to find a spruce. I still remember how fun it was to be able to decorate it with my older sister, and how it was to be pinched by the pines from time to time. The smell filled the living room, and when my father would turn on the small lights, Christmas was at the door.
Then finally it arrives: Christmas Eve. Excitement, keen impatience and butterflies within. I could hardly wait for the unwrapping of all the gifts that caught my attention under the tree. My grandfather or one of the grandchildren would read the Nativity story from the Bible before we prayed and thanked God. My thoughts, I have to admit, were mostly on what I would unwrap in a few moments.
This year, I decided to reflect more on why we actually celebrate CHRISTmas. And that is partly why I write this article. It is easy, at least for me, to set my mind on all the things associated with Christmas; food, gifts, decorations and so on. All these things are nice and I will still appreciate them, but at the same time ponder more upon the real Father Christmas. To thank Him for giving the most precious He had; His own Son. The greatest gift of all.
By Guro Hockley