Vol: 99 Issue: 26 Saturday, December 26, 2009
Christmas at my house is always a busy time of year. As the kids grew older, it got even busier. Our family tradition was something started by my maternal grandfather.
Granddad had five daughters, and he realized he was going have to compete with five sons-in-law if he hoped to continue his own Christmas tradition. Granddad adopted the English Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) as HIS Christmas celebration.
They called it the ‘Christmas Pie’. The ‘Christmas Pie’ was an old refrigerator shipping box filled with presents for all the parents and grandchildren. We’d all gather, the day after our individual Christmas celebration, for an extended Christmas.
All the time I was growing up, I thought that Granddad did it all for us grandkids, something that I thought odd in light of the fact that the rest of the year, he was a very proper English grandfather. But at Christmas, all that British reserve would evaporate.
It wasn’t until my kids had kids that I realized what a brilliant man Granddad really was. The Christmas Pie was NEVER about us, but WE never knew it.
It was really about my Granddad and his daughters never losing their own special Christmas traditions.
Granddad headed off any competition with the outlaws about who went to whose house last year — whenever some young fella married into the family, it was firmly understood at the outset that Christmas was for them — but Boxing Day was Granddad’s.
I share my grandfather’s love of Christmas and could not imagine not having my day with my kids. So when Mike and Kari got married, I sat down with Mike and told him that he could have Kari for eleven of the twelve days of Christmas, but that Boxing Day was MINE. Or he’d have to find himself another girl.
So, at our house, Christmas is a two-day affair. Christmas Day is now for Gayle and her mother and I. We read the Christmas Story from Luke, remember the Greatest Christmas Gift of all — eternity — and have a traditional American Christmas. Then, we spend the rest of the day preparing for tomorrow’s Main Event.
And so each Boxing Day, we become Englishmen for a day. Mike and Kari and Hannah and Mikie and Sarah and Johnny, Ricky and Jacob, Char, Taya and Michael, Kerilyn and Tristen, Jessica and Lori– all together and at home with us — for one glorious day. Lots of food, a Christmas ‘Pie’ and a chance for the parents to take a day off to be kids.
Our Christmas wish for you is that you are surrounded by a family that loves you. We wish you laughter and love and fun and joy.
We pray our Lord Jesus Christ will envelope your family with an unspeakable love for one another — and for Him.
We wish you a merry, merry Christmas. And may you be truly blessed.
With much love, from all of us, to all of you.