For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
~Isaiah 9:6 NLT
Rarely did Santa bring Mom what she wanted for Christmas, but one Christmas, he did.
Mom and her sister grew up the daughters of a dirt-poor farmer who attempted to eke out a living from the sandy soil near Vance, South Carolina. My granddaddy repeatedly reminded Mom and her sister how lean times were. In fact, it seemed that’s all he talked about. She wondered whether any years weren’t lean, but the family never heard about abundance—only poverty.
Until one Christmas arrived that was different from any Mom had experienced before. One that made her feel like a rich person’s daughter.
Every Christmas, Mom’s family gathered with other families from the community and converged on Gerizim United Methodist Church to await Santa’s arrival. Mom and the other children sat on Santa’s bulging lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas—even though Mom never believed she would get it.
Year after year, Mom’s Christmas wish was the same: a baby doll. All her friends had at least one. She couldn’t understand why her father couldn’t scrape together enough money to get her one, too. So, this particular year, Mom told Santa what she had told him numerous times before.
“What’s your name, little girl?” Santa whispered.
“And what would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?”
“I want a baby doll. All my friends have one, and I want one, too.”
“Have you been a good little girl?” Santa queried.
Surely, this would be the year Santa would grant the wish she had made so many times before. When the first rays of daylight peeked through her bedroom window on Christmas morning, Elsie jumped up and headed for the Christmas tree. There it was. A box that seemed the right size for a baby doll, wrapped in paper a poor farmer’s wife would use.
She tore into the paper and could hardly believe her eyes. Santa had granted her wish. A beautiful small baby doll lay in the box. It was all she had ever wanted but never received. She couldn’t wait to play with it. Why not turn the box into a stroller? she imagined. And she did. After carefully cutting two holes in the box, she inserted a cord and instantly had a stroller. It was the only year Mom received a doll baby.
Just as one doll baby made a tremendous difference in my mother’s life, so did a real child born to Mary and Joseph. He also brought joy to shepherds living in the fields, wise men living afar, and people worldwide.
She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
~Luke 2:7 NLT
Jesus’ birth has changed the lives of millions of people and continues to do so. He was God’s ultimate Christmas present to the world.
Never underestimate the potential of even the smallest of gifts.
What gift can you give someone this Christmas that reflects God’s love?
Father, thank You for the most wonderful gift You have given us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2020: A Baby for Christmas: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved
(Photo courtesy of pixabay and SeaReeds.)