A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Lois Coady
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
In my experience, this poem definitely is more of a fairy tale than reality. I have vivid memories of my Mom trying to get the four of us kids down for a nap on Christmas Eve afternoon because we were spending the evening at my Great Aunt and Uncle’s home in Marin county. We were so excited and rambunctious, she even had to separate us, spreading the four of us out into different rooms so we would not antagonize each other and actually rest. (Yes, kids shared bedrooms and bathrooms back then.)
I remember Dad coming home from work a bit early on Christmas Eve which was different and fed into our excitement. After a nap (or maybe not), we would get dressed up in our Sunday finest, pile into the Willy’s Jeep packing up side dishes for dinner and presents for everyone we would see, and make the drive from South San Francisco over to San Rafael in Marin county. The excitement rose as we neared Auntie Skip and Uncle Bum’s house until we were finally there and shared hugs and kisses all around.
Arriving back home later than our typical bedtime we went to sleep pretty fast but by about 4:30 AM the four of us kids were up and ready to open presents! Dad would build a barricade in the hallway to keep us back from the tree and all the presents. He and Mom would try to coax us back to bed shouting vacant threats down the hallway from their room but there was no way we could settle down at that point. “How can I sleep? There are unknown treasures under that tree for each one of us! Maybe Santa brought me those pretty white roller skates I was hoping for, and if not the skates maybe he brought me something else that I had been dreaming of.” Sleep was impossible and the anticipation unbearable. I thought I would burst from excitement.
The funny thing is, even though our home is quiet now, I still tend to wake up earlier than I should on Christmas morning. That sense of excitement, awe and anticipation still stirs within me 66 years later. What is different is that the excitement I feel at this point in my life is not based on the unknown contents of beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree (I wrapped them all myself) but on the reality of the greatest gift we have all been given—Jesus. The excitement is from the knowledge of the birth of our Savior. That precious baby boy, born to a virgin, loved and nurtured by earthly parents yet the Son of God. A baby whose life and subsequent death has provided me life eternal with Him. This is truly the greatest gift ever known … Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6