Poor neglected blog.
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas this year, probably at least 1/2 as much as anybody who's liable to read this blog or maybe half again more. So I thought I'd do some blogging about it. Today I want to talk about my all time favorite Christmas gift.
I've gotten a lot of gifts over the years. I've forgotten most and have broken or lost most as well. Some really stick out. Granny and Grandaddy gave me a Star Wars Death Star one year. That was pretty sweet but it had too many parts to survive for long. I'm pretty sure there are a couple of fragments that remain in one of my boxes of toy soldiers. I got a cool castle set that even more parts survived from. I got Axis&Allies once after I helped Mom pick it out. I've gotten some nice sweaters and shirts (actually almost any sweater I have is likely to have been a Christmas gift. I'm not a natural sweater buyer or wearer, but I like some of them and wear them occasionally). I think I got a sled when I was real little. That was a great gift for many years and useful even in Kentucky winters. There have been many other wonderful gifts.
But my favorite gift was the Alamo that my Dad made me. I think this came up here once before after Jenn took me to the Alamo when I visited San Antonio last year. I've always had a thing for the Battle of the Alamo and by extension other desperate last stands. I defaced a children's library book about the battle when I was little cutting out all the cool pictures to play with. I got the John Wayne Alamo movie for Christmas a few years ago. I remember seeing and wanting an Alamo toy set that I saw in the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalog and asking for it a few times. Finally one year I found an Alamo under the tree. It's not real fancy. It doesn't have a lot of detail. It's really only a wooden model of the chapel building (of course that's the iconic part of the whole thing. A wooden model of the corral wouldn't be nearly as impressive.) It's not really to scale with either size of toy soldiers I routinely played with being too large for both (unless you consider it's size in legend in which case it works pretty well). However, it was made by my Daddy and it was exactly what I wanted. Also it was essentially one piece so I couldn't accidentally lose the south wall or the bell tower and it was mostly unbreakable within the scope of uses to which I was likely to put it (I did drop it and break it once but we were able to restore with wood glue made from my tears--or by a wood glue manufacturer). It served as a fantastic fort and storage container for small toy soldiers for many years and still serves in the latter capacity somewhere at Mom and Dad's house. It has served even better as a symbol of my Dad's love for me. It wasn't showy or extravagant but it was simple and tangible and real and virtually unbreakable and, if not perfect, sufficient.
Each year at Christmas we remember an even greater gift from an even greater Father that is far more lasting and perfect. Sometimes we want to shout about the great gifts we receive and sometime we want to just sit quietly and appreciate them. I hope you find the time this Christmas season to do both. To shout with joy from the mountaintops that Jesus Christ is born and to sit in silent awestruck wonder at His love.