It delights me, as a father, to give my kids exactly what they want for Christmas. As parents, we make them wait for weeks or days to open their presents on Christmas Day. Then, to see their faces and hear them say, “Thanks, Daddy! I love you” makes it all worth it: the long store lines, the overpriced toys, etc. Even when you threatened not to get them anything because they were bad, you break the rules for your children. This is how our Father God is with us.
I had to learn this by having children because, honestly, many Christmases sucked for me. For a long time, growing up without a father, I never had this experience. I would look at the J.C. Penney Wishbook with all the toys and imagine I’d get this or that. My mother did her best, but many Christmases I either got nothing or found myself at the mercy of extended family for presents. I remember her aunts and uncles chipping in to get me a bike and one Christmas where they drew names and exchanged gifts and I got a flannel shirt. See, I was needy and had to get clothes while all my cousins got toys and clothes. When I met my paternal grandfather, he took up some of the slack. Yet, to this day I still don’t have a normal relationship with my own father. So, now that I can, I give my kids almost everything they want.
I didn’t plan to go too deep in this blog, but since I’m writing... My mother did her best. Even though we didn’t have often, when we did have, she would make up for the times I went without. In fact, she taught me a lot about giving and character in hard economic times. She was deep. She wrote a poem that many people know and exclaim called “Three Days Before Christmas” where she speaks against the commercialism of Christmas and snobbishly giving handouts to the poor. She taught me to find and know the history behind Holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween and I question everything and challenge stuff that makes no sense to this day. In fact, we didn’t celebrate some of these holidays many years including Christmas. I applaud her depth. However, as a child, I still would rather had gifts. One Christmas she gave me $20 dollars and made me spend it on others. Yeah, it taught me character and I got it, but...
I am so very thankful for Francemise, Hassan II, Keren, and Kelyn Kingsberry and being a father. I am glad to have them and glad to give them whatever they want, including myself. It feels good to be loved and appreciated not because of what I do for them, but just for who I am. That’s a special gift there that makes you give. I cannot wait to see them open these gifts!
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