Christmas is my favorite time of year. There’s something magical about it. I have special decorations I pull out every December. There’s the old nutcracker we bought right after we were married. The paint is chipping, and he doesn’t move the way he used to, but he still stands watch over our tree. Then there’s the little winter scene with the train that goes around and around. I also unpack Christmas ornaments given to me by people I love. Some are gone now, but every year I remember them when I hang their ornament on our tree.
My husband sets up our life-size deer in the yard. The head still moves, but his original lights burned out long ago. Hubby added new lights and even gave him blue eyes. Not too many blue-eyed reindeer in the world, but you can always find one in the front yard of the Mehl house at Christmas.
Then there are the foods I make only once a year: cheese balls and fudge from my mother’s recipes. “You must stir the fudge for six full minutes, Nancy,” she used to warn me. “Not a minute less. Not a minute more.”
We watch our favorite movies: It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife, White Christmas, The Christmas Story, and Elf. All of these traditions help to pull me out of the world and remind me that we are actually celebrating the Greatest Gift ever given.
I’ve had many wonderful Christmases, but some of my very favorite happened many years ago. One year, in particular, I recall seeing my husband lying prone on someone’s lawn, closely resembling a dead body. Although this may not sound especially festive, it’s still one of my best Christmas memories. You see, my husband and I, along with a group of special friends, formed a group we called “We Three Kings.” Our idea was to represent the kings who brought gifts to the Christ child. My husband and I symbolized one king, our best friends, Jim and Jolene, signified the second king, and Jolene’s mother, Opal, was the third king.
Every year we put together boxes full of blessings. There was food, gifts for the children, and money so the parents could buy whatever else they needed for Christmas. The boxes were delivered to people in our church who were struggling financially. We’d load the boxes up in our cars a few days before Christmas and drive to the various houses at night. Since we didn’t want anyone to know who these deliveries came from, the guys would carry the appropriate box to the front door of a house, ring the doorbell, and run like mad! There were a few close calls, when falling to the ground and lying motionless was our only defense. It’s a miracle we never got caught.
Of course, situations like these brought gales of laughter from the rest of us. I remember laughing so hard I had a hard time catching my breath. We never knew how much our gifts blessed the people we visited, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt how blessed we were.
Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to put the joy back in Christmas. Perhaps the holiday has become routine. My gift to you this year is my story of “We Three Kings.” Can you round up a few friends and carry on the tradition? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us picked at least one family to bless this year? Do you know a family with young children who could use the touch of a King? Or maybe you know an elderly person who is alone. An invitation to a Christmas event or dinner from the heart of a King would bring more joy than you could imagine.
If you accept this challenge, I guarantee this will be one of the best Christmases you and your family ever shares. And I believe it will also bring a smile to the King of Kings as we celebrate His wondrous birth.
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