Certain Christmases stand out in my mind, usually because of what it was that I received as a present or presents.
When I was five, it was my red bike – with training wheels. The bike became part of my body for the next five years, until I received a 26-inch big black bike – for Christmas.
When I was six, it was a collie puppy. We named him Skipper.
At seven, it was a Lionel train.
At 12, it was a Daisy air rifle (not unlike Ralphie's in A Christmas Story).
When I was 13, it was a chess set – a Roman chess set, with the chessmen representing Caesar Augustus, his wife Livia, Cicero (the bishops), foot soldiers for pawns and so on. I still have that chess set. All the pieces are there; a pawn’s sword might be broken off and a felt bottom on a piece a little ragged, but the set is intact.
Some things don’t change. I still love books.
If I have hopes for Christmas, then they are about family. My two sons and my daughter-in-law. My grandson, Cameron. My grandbaby to be. My wife.
I think the most perfect Christmas I could imagine would be to have the family together, and sitting with 20-month-old Cameron reading the same story book 14 times in a row. His current love is a “finger” book – the kind you can stick your fingers in and move things around – called Who, as in who lives in a hole? Or the sea, or a tree. He loves the book. He loves having the book read to him. Repeatedly. Each time is a brand new experience, and he smiles and laughs and claps his hands for yet another reading.
It’s not a lot to hope for, at least compared to computers, an iPad, a car, travel, stocks, bonds or real estate, or world peace.
But it is priceless.
Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is hosting a blog carnival on faith, with this week’s topic being “Your Hopes for Christmas.” To see more posts, please visit Faith Barista.
Photograph of Cameron Young by Stephanie Young. Used with Cameron's permission.