The family came from miles around
to share in the festivity.
In the circle those days were Moms
and Dads, Grandma and Grandad,
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins galore.
They would gather around the tree that
towered over the train that circled it
again and again. The track had been
laid and carefully placed on a board
with a village and greens. This was
Grandad's special gift to his family.
The Bible came out and the story
was told how a baby was born long
ago. Some endured this long reading.
Others knew the value of tucking this
deep in your heart. The value of
keeping this story so fresh that
you could almost repeat it, not read it.
Then came the gifts offered one at a time.
Each one savored and wondered about.
"What will you do with it?" asked
Grandad in his deep growly voice,
as his eyes twinkled with joy.
He would ask this just as one was
about to rip off the paper...causing
a hold on the progress.
One by one they would open a gift, sometimes
guessing that socks would be eaten,
or that peanuts would be worn.
Giggles would break out and fun would be
had as each one enjoyed this sweet game.
There weren't many presents in those
long ago years...but somehow that was just
fine. It still took an afternoon of family
time to open the one or two for each one.
It was time, precious time...and memories
collected that are imprinted in the mind
of this family.
Now of that happy family group are gone two
great men. The Grandad and Dad have gone on
to their sweet reward, leaving a legacy.
One of the reading of a Christmas Story
and savoring the time together.
A time to enjoy being together and
wondering what it might be.
Not every time,
but it heard more than once,
"Hey, what are you going to do with it?"
before a gift is opened.
Once upon a Christmas...
it is what we are creating
for our children or grandchildren this year.
What will you do that will remain...
when they write their own story...
Once Upon a Christmas?