December had arrived and with it came frigid weather, but we young kids didn't let that bother us as we played outside during recess at our little school.
There was such anticipation among the children there because we knew that "Santa" would be coming in a few weeks and every one wanted to be on our best behavior. No one wanted to take a chance on being given a sack full of coal because we had not been good. We all looked forward to having gifts under a real live Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
The strong scent of pine wafted through the house and every time someone opened the front door to go in or out, it seemed to give a blast of fresh pine smell to every one's delight.
Between the freshly baked cookies and the scent of our pine tree and two wreaths on both doors..it sure smelled like Christmas. There were greens everywhere & beautiful red candles on the mantle with something called ,"Angel Hair". It looked like snow that had drifted and My folks had a little cardboard village set up on the Angel Hair ,complete with a tiny plastic Santa and sleigh.
My Step-Mom loved Santa's of all shapes and sizes and had many of them in various decorations. I vaguely recall one small manger scene setting on a corner table along with a Christmas Cactus Plant.
I grew up believing in Santa until I was six or seven years old. When I discovered there really was no Santa, I felt betrayed for I had tried so hard to be good so that I would receive gifts.
I recalled my last time of belief in the red suited, white bearded man. I was terrified that I would not get to sleep fast enough & Santa would fly over and not let presents because one had to be good and be asleep.
Upon mornings arrival, I jumped from my bed to see if I had been visited by this one that I had tried so hard to impress by being nearly perfect in behavior. WOW ! Gifts everywhere. There were some of my Step-Mom's family as overnight guests and my step-cousin, Johnny Thomas was three years younger and sharing gifts with me.
Excitement, laughter, pretty paper flying everywhere from the packages while Johnny and I must have thought we hit the jackpot in gifts.
We could hear my Dad and uncles' loud, hearty laughs and the ladies were ooohing and aaawing over their gifts. It was a wonderful time that I never forgot..but as I aged, I realized...Where was Jesus in all of this celebrating? It was His birthday we were to celebrate.
I was told of Jesus birthday and that he was born in a manger but little else. I did not come to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior until December 1983. I was in my 40's by then and I remember the tree being up in our home, fully decorated, but there was no Santa there. I had been religious but lost until I dropped to my knees and asked Jesus to forgive me for my sins and please make me His child.
On that windy day in December, I fully understood that Jesus was the true reason for the season and He will be with me for every season in my life until He takes me home to live in the most beautifully decorated home ever made. Thank You Jesus for this time of remembrance as a child and this anticipation of seeing you face to face as my Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
© 2007 Ann Marie Fisher