‘Roll out the holly…..cause we need a little Christmas right this very minute” are some of the lyrics in a song that is sung the musical ‘Mame‘. The last few weeks around the Hawkins’ home have been intense ones. It was debated when and if we would even get our tree up this year. Needless to say, the gift giving and ready to celebrate any occasion gal was becoming frustrated. It is Christmas and I wasn’t getting much of a celebratory mood from Jim.
Then, I reflected back on my freshman year in college. My mother had been in and out of the hospital with kidney trouble. Once finals were over, my plan was to go home and work with a PR company for the holiday season to put a little extra jingle in my pocket. Yet, God had other plans. As Dad picked me up from school to take me home for the holiday(school was out at Thanksgiving-January back then) he explained that I would not be able to work because mom was still in and out of the hospital. Disappointed as I was in missing an opportunity for myself, I knew that my attentions were needed at home.
When I arrived home, I saw many things that needed to be done. First, we had to get through Thanksgiving. Thankfully, my grandmother took care of that holiday for us. Of course, once you hit Thanksgiving Day, it is time to think about Christmas. With all that was going on at the home front, the Christmas mood just wasn’t there. Mom certainly did not feel like decorating the tree much less the house. So, one day, I thought to myself ‘we need a little Christmas; right this very minute!’
Dad went out and got a tree and I began to decorate. At one point and time, a couple of ladies from the church came over to help me. Along with decorating, I pulled out some recipes that I had learned from mom and other lady mentors of the church and began to bake. Yes, mom did not feel well but that was no excuse not to have Christmas. As Drew would say before a running a race, ‘it was on!’ Out of all the many wonderful Christmases I have experienced, this particular Christmas stays on the forefront of my memory. It was the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a time of denying self and putting the needs of others before yourself. A memorable and yet hard lesson for an 18-year-old girl.
Reflecting on Christmas, 1982, I realized in the midst of all that was going on in the Hawkins’ home that ‘we needed a little Christmas; right this very minute!’ Now, the tree is up, the house is decorated and packages are even appearing under the tree little by little. It is a Christmas where Jim and I are facing some challenges. Yet, once the packages are opened, the tree comes down and a new year begins, Christmas, 2010 will be the most memorable Christmas experience we will remember as a couple.
Over two thousand years ago, God looked down on the world. In the midst of all the despair and chaos, and He said to his angels ‘we need a little Christmas; right this very minute!’ So, He sent His Son to the world to teach the true meaning of giving and putting others before self. For, it is in the midst of despair and chaos is when we need Christmas the most. One day, though we do not know the day nor the hour, God is going to look down on the world and say once again, ‘we need a little Christmas; right this very minute!’ At that moment and time, He will send His Son Jesus Christ back down to earth.