Jan at Revgalblogpals gives us this simple Friday Five:
Share five Christmas memories.
1. When I was very little, we went to spend Christmas on my grandparents' farm in Southwestern Minnesota. I was so little then that my mother's younger sister was still living at home, in the big upstairs bedroom that all of the girls shared. I was also very worried that Santa Claus would not find me way out there. I remember that I slept in the bed with my aunt, who told me scary stories and warned me that I'd better not try to get out of bed and check on Santa Claus.
2. One year, my sister and I got a joint present from my grandparents on Christmas Eve: the game Twister. When it was time to go to bed and wait for Santa Claus, we of course had the hardest time going to sleep. We counted to 100 a few times and told a few stories, and then decided it must be close to morning. So we quietly got out the game, turned on the light and started playing. We thought that we were being pretty quiet, but pretty soon my mother appeared in the doorway, looking bleary-eyed, and she proclaimed: "Santa Claus has NOT come yet. And he won't come if you don't GO TO BED."
3. When I was in 9th grade, my father's business failed, and the next year at Christmas, he worked stocking merchandise at the Big Store with the Red Circles. (He eventually got a sales job at a big department store.) I remember being very happy that I got a Supermax Blow Dryer as a Christmas present that year. It's not bad to have simple tastes.
4. When I was living in Tokyo (where I didn't have a car, and I didn't know about any Christmas Tree lots), I bought a little potted fir and made little paper decorations to go on it. I played all of my Christmas music on our boom box. All of us missionary-teachers-in-training went to our churches for a Christmas program, meal and later a Christmas eve service. I looked around at the rest of the people in my church, and realized that this was their Christmas: no huge family reunions, no turkey, no big stacks of presents under the tree. When we came home, we opened presents with the family who lived next door to us. It made me realize that "Christmas is all about spending time with you family" is nice, but not really what Christmas is about. Christmas is about Jesus coming into our world.
5. My first Christmas in my little churches in South Dakota, I told the story about my Christmas in Japan on Christmas Eve. I was invited over to a parish member's house. Their traditional Christmas Eve dinner was soup: oyster soup, chicken noodle soup and chili. I had brought presents for them, but it turned out that they didn't exchange presents on Christmas eve. I remember going home, wrapping packages and finishing my Christmas Day sermon, and packing the car so that I could leave straight from church and get home in time for some Christmas with my mom and dad, and my brother and his two children.