My First Christmas

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…. as a new bride and mom will always bring sweet smiles to my face. I had been married to my widowed husband with three young boys for barely four months. Kenny was five, Danny was four, and little Gregg was just two. They were still trying to figure out who I was and I was trying to figure out what being a mom was all about.

goldstar75And then it was Christmas.

We were in Costa Rica having driven all the way from Bellingham, Washington. In case you’re wondering, that’s a drive of over 4,500 miles with much of it before our wonderful modern interstates and the drive took us an entire month. But in those long, adventurous days on the road (or lack thereof), those three amazing little boys started to call me “Mommy.” Christmas presents don’t come much better than that.red-Package

Les’ missionary salary was meager, but we somehow managed. Christmas presents would just be one or two little toys the boys would enjoy. We selected them carefully and wrapped them on Christmas Eve after the boys went to bed. We could hardly wait for our first Christmas together as a new family.

I woke up first on Christmas morning to get breakfast ready. As I walked past our little tree with the few presents underneath, I knew instantly something was wrong. Each present had obviously been opened and then wrapped up again. But the re-wrapping was hilariously pathetic. It looked as if two or three small children had opened up their presents and then tried to wrap them back up…

I couldn’t help but smile as I told Les about our three little Christmas bandits. Soon our young family was sitting around the tree. The boys looked as angelic as any three children could look and failed to see anything at all was amiss.candycane

With a bit more questioning, however, they admitted they woke up in the middle of the night, snuck into the living room and took their presents back into their room. Under their blankets, they opened up their presents to see what was inside. Then, to avoid getting into trouble, they wrapped them back up and put them back under the tree as if nothing ever happened. “We just couldn’t wait,” was their tearful plea.christmas_thompsons

so my first Christmas as a new mom was listening to my new husband give a children’s lesson on truth and obedience. The lesson was short and sweet and ended with big hugs and kisses and re-opening the presents under the tree.

As the years go by, it’s easy to lose excitement and anticipation that is so great we want to sneak into the living room and open our presents early. When’s the last time you were so excited about something, you absolutely could not wait until the next day?

I think God the Father was like that on Christmas morning. He was giving the most precious gift that could ever be given and was so excited, he scared a few shepherds out of their wits and invited them to come and see. It was Christmas and He just had to share his glorious present.

And every day, God the Father gives us this same gift—His beloved Son. He is our hope, our peace, our joy, our blessed Savior.

greengiftOh, that we would be more like children who can’t wait to see their Christmas presents. “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14).

Thank you for celebrating Christmas with us. We turn your dollars into free on-the-job Bible training, Bible resources, and encouragement to thousands. Our national missionaries are like excited little children scattered throughout the Spanish speaking world. They in turn, can open these presents and tell others about what Jesus has done for them.

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Carolyn Thompson


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