Wii or Whee!
As grandparents, our Christmas is usually celebrated on Christmas Eve. This enables our children (now parents) and their children to enjoy Christmas Day at home together with their toys uninterrupted by a trip to our house. Therefore, Christmas morning didn't promise to be very exciting for me this year. When I awoke on Christmas morning I lay in bed and thought of Christmas mornings of the past when the children were young. I also remembered Christmas mornings when I was a child.
Christmas Eve is a night I never got much sleep. I was always excited about what I would see under the tree when I got up and of course as an adult excited about what my children would see. I had to make sure the kids stayed in the bed until at least 5. This was a rule carried over from my childhood, no gift peeking until 5 AM.
In 1967 my sister, my mom, my dad, and I were living in the basement of my oldest sister and her husband's home. My father had become disabled and things, to put it mildly, weren't too good financially that year. My mother worried about our not getting gifts that year. Me, I mostly worried about living in the basement. I just wanted to go home. This would have been the greatest Christmas gift I thought, but looking back now - I know we don't always get what we want. So on Christmas morning we woke in the cold basement and climbed the stairs together to see what was under the tree.
I remember that Christmas so well, the gifts I got, the food I ate, and what we did. That was the year I saw the first game system (an ancient Atari) which connected to a television. My sister's husband got one supposedly for their one-year-old daughter. All Christmas Day 1967 (and for several days to come) everyone (except me) sat around amazed by the ping pong ball bouncing from left to right on the black and white screen. I personally wasn't too impressed and preferred to put on my new rust color corduroy jacket and go out to play with a jump rope and a paddle ball that Santa brought me. Time moves on, doesn't it? And oh how things change. If I gave my grandchildren paddle balls or jump ropes they would probably ask what they were for. If my grandchildren saw the old Atari in action they would probably assume the television was broken. Today there are X Boxes and Wiis that do so much more than show a ball bouncing on a screen. Children stay inside and master all the games.
After all this remembering, I finally decided it was Christmas Day, way passed 5, and time to get up. I plugged up the lights on the tree and looked out the window. To what to my wandering eyes should appear? No, not reindeer or Santa, but there was snow! If you don't live in Mississippi, this may not sound too amazing, but in Tupelo, this was a very big deal - not a big snow- but a big deal. My phone started ringing. Everyone was so excited about the inch or so of snow that surprised us all. It was a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!
Grandchildren who normally call to tell me of the toys only spoke of the snow. Grandchildren who normally stay inside were out enjoying it before it melted away. Snowmen went up, snowballs were thrown. There was even a little sliding on some hills, WHEE!
By noon or so the snow was turning to a melting memory. Children went back inside to play with Wiis. Yes, the WHEE turned to Wii but memories were made this 2010 that will not be forgotten in forty years. If I had of gotten snow in 1967, would my life have been different? No, not really, but today I could have written about choosing to play in white snow (not about playing with a jump rope) on Christmas instead of watching a snowy TV screen with a white ping pong bouncing back and forth. whee. It would have sounded better and been more fun too I am sure.
God gave us snow this year. It added so much to the day for so many. It made so many smile who were feeling kind of sad.
God has a way of knowing exactly what we need when we need it. He knows how to lift us up when we need it most.
I remember how that rust corduroy coat made even the gray cold basement seem bright and warm in 1967.
God has a way of doing that in all of our lives every single day. Whee!
Thank you, God, for a White Christmas 2010 that will not soon be forgotten.
Again, Happy Birthday Jesus. I love you.