Christmas: Give a Gift Worth Sharing--Yourself
by Archie Wortham --show me more like this
Christmas boy santa © maks_photo - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.
"How's your Burberry?"
It's amazing how you learn about things. I never knew what a Burberry was until I read a Margaret Truman novel. I guess some of you might be wondering what the heck does Burberry or Margaret Truman have to do with this season. Well not much, other than they remind me of a time past. That's what Christmas generally does for all of us.
This time reminds me of a time when I didn't have a Burberry, and a time I didn't know a friend of mine who now does. It's moments in time that connect us. It's like the time we woke up one Christmas thinking that there wasn't going to be Christmas at our house, and Christ found a way into other people's hearts via a neighborhood church, or a Grinch who chose to give it back. Christmas is always going to be there, you just have to reach out and find it. And once you do, share it.
Christmas for me has not always been the happiest of times. My mom and dad separated before I was born. So I grew up as the bright-eyed young boy looking for light regardless of whatever darkness the world might send my way. It's amazing how indulgence the unindulged are. Though there were some sad days after I grew up, I still think the first Christmas my father didn't show up was my saddest. I remember standing at the window for hours, looking out into the night, hoping against hope one of the beacons splitting the darkness would be my dad.
The terrible thing about that evening is how my aunt and uncle must have felt. They knew deep inside as anyone who cares for anyone what I must have been going through. They couldn't bear the brunt of my pain, because I wouldn't let them. They wouldn't deny the hope that maybe I was right and they were wrong. It wasn't good for them either. But they endured, and I did too.
Years later, as I laid in my Murphy bed in my efficiency apartment one Christmas day, I would think about how I wished at least I would've let them comfort me. That Christmas, I didn't get out of bed. Not because I couldn't but because I wouldn't. I wanted to wallow in the same self-pity I'd wallowed in as an 8-year-old. It was shameful. I neglected the love and care I had when I was small, and again, if I'd looked, I'm sure there were others who loved me, just as Christ promised he wouldn't forsake me.
So as I aged, I promised I would find something to be happy about during the Christmas season. Regardless if it's my wife's somewhat seasonal depressions, or the lack of thankfulness my sons have not learned to appreciate having their mom and dad together. I've learned to discover love in places where God always provides---at home. Regardless of where that home might be, and for me, as I write this, I think about my friend who because he met me, owns a something I had, a similar coat.
So as you approach Christmas season, I want you men, particularly you dads, to find time to be with your sons and daughters. Many men, like my dad, for whatever reason, are separated from their children. For many, it's their choice. No mom would deny a genuine effort to stop by, say hello. Believe me, dads, your kids won't cherish toys as much as the memory you give them by letting them know they matter.
All I wanted, that Christmas, years ago was to know I mattered. It was not until I'd grown up, I learned all of us have a choice in the books we read, the clothes we buy, or to bring sunlight to people. God gave all of us this gift. Decide now dads; your gift to your kids is a good ‘past', so years from now they won't be saddened by the memory of another broken promise. Teach them what they already have, even if it's not a Burberry.
Copyright © 2002, 2008
All rights reserved. FatherMag.com authors retain their right to republish elsewhere.