When I was a child growing up in a small East Texas town called Tenaha, it was the custom to have a blissful celebration during Christmas. The community would gather to sing carols and welcome jolly old Santa into town. Children would queue up in lengthy lines waiting to sit on the plump, rosy-checked man's lap. The streets of the town were full of loving families lingering, waiting for the traditional parade to begin. The smell of hot chocolate and cinnamon filled the cool, crisp air. The taste of candy cane settled in our mouths, making every breath we took in refreshing and sweet. The raging crowd would yell as the bright red fire trucked rolled into town carrying the famous Santa, waiving his chubby hand and shouting "Ho, ho, ho!" Delight overwhelmed our soft hearts. The town celebration would soon end and it would be time for families to go back to their warm homes and sit by a roasting fire. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, bringing so much laughter and unforgettable times. To my family, it is more than Santa, parades and singing. It is about the birth of Jesus Christ, gathering together to unite as a family and having Christmas dinner. These things are what really count during the holidays and my family makes them special.
Every Christmas morning, my mom woke my family to come into our cozy living room where she read us the story about Jesus Christ's birth. We would all pile up together like newborn puppies to hear. The story was always so interesting that I forgot about all the activities planned for the day. This story explained how the wise men brought frankincense, myrrh and gold, and I always got so caught up in it. I could almost smell the beautiful aroma coming through the warm vents and see the glinting of gold. As the story went on, I usually felt a vibe going through my body, such as the vibe one might get if struck by lightening. I learned that Christmas is about what we should give not what we should receive.