Christmas Eve Hope

So tomorrow is Christmas. Another year gone. Seems hard to believe. This year has had many “first without Mama” occasions but tomorrow is the biggest. I never had a Christmas morning without her before. Or a Christmas Eve. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it. Was it really only 12 months ago that I gave her the beautiful red coat she never wore? I still can’t look at it without a rush of emotion to blur my vision. Tomorrow I will unwrap presents “From Daddy” only and not from both. This is hard – too hard for me to handle on my own.

At the same time, there is a beauty to this holiday that I never saw before. If it weren’t for Christmas and the birth of a Saviour King, there would be no hope of heaven and no promise of seeing my mother again. Some may argue the validity of December 25th as the birthday of our King, but it makes no difference to me. The actual date is not the point. The point is the promise of salvation that Jesus brought to that stable so many years ago. This is the hope I cling to when the pain is more than I can bear. This is the hope of Christmas Eve.

And the memories of many beautiful Christmases and Christmas Eves spent with my mother make this holiday and season so incredibly special. Memories of stockings hung on the mantel. Of presents so beautifully wrapped and tied with ribbons. Of Christmas Eve hot chocolate and cookies. Of shaking the various packages and trying to guess their contents. Of tumbling out of bed at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. Of having “snowball” fights with crumpled-up wrapping paper. Of retiring to a quiet corner with one of my new books and my box of animal crackers to while away the afternoon.

So let the theologians wrangle over the petty details of Christmas. I will continue to hold onto the hope of Christmas Eve and the beauty of Christmas Day, keeping both my mother and my Saviour alive in my heart.

Daddy Is – A Father’s Day Tribute

We call our fathers by many names: dad, daddy, papa, pa, pop, pops. Papa and pa are not as common as they once were; dad is the most popular form today. I call my paternal unit “daddy” for 3 reasons. It sums up who he is better than the other forms, it’s casual and familiar without being disrespectful, and it’s what he prefers to be called.

Daddy is . . .

. . . the one who is our first playmate and lifelong pal.

. . . the one who loves us more than he lets on and more than we realize.

. . . the one whose strength is a rock to hold on to when our world is crumbling and our faith is shaking.

. . . the one who pushes us on the swing and who pushes us to be the best we can be.

. . . the one who protects his family from physical, emotional, and spiritual harm.

. . . the one who shows us what a real man should be.

. . . the one who gives of himself to provide for his family.

. . . the one who shows us how to work in spite of pain or tiredness.

. . . the one who teaches us how to hold a paintbrush, swing a hammer, use a wrench.

. . . the one who shows us that tears are not a sign of weakness.

. . . the one who will come and get us out of the trouble we get ourselves into.

. . . the one we should honor and respect all the days of our lives.

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special kind of man to be a daddy.

So, on this Father’s Day, I just want to tell you: Thank you, Daddy, more than words can say. I love you.father's day