A Christmas of Hope

I love Christmas! The lights. The decorations. The pretty packages and shiny bows. The homemade ornaments. The cheesy movies. The cookies. Oh, how I love the cookies! It all makes me happy. Well, everything except the cold, snow, and music. Dad loved it all, but I had to draw the line.

Of all the things I love about Christmas, it is gift-giving I love the most. I have always loved giving people things randomly – an unexpected card, a pick-me-up coffee, a bag of candy to get through a rough day. The gift doesn’t have to be extravagant to be special. Jesus taught us that… and my parents reiterated the message. I learned from the best.

Christmas as a kid was never extravagant. There were five of us kids and not a lot of money to buy all the latest and greatest gadgets and toys of the day. We all received the things we wanted most, and we never went to bed disappointed on Christmas night. I remember being excited about books and journals, bikes and games, make-up, clothing, and jewelry – but even above all the goodies we unwrapped as kids, the highlight of Christmas morning was the way dad lavished mom with love. It always involved a story with a misfit elf, a runaway reindeer, a rogue Santa, or the like. The kids enjoyed the stories as much as {maybe more than} mom! As the story unfolded, mom was presented with a few gifts. The gifts usually began with the ones she had hinted she wanted and then progressed to one big surprise which would result in that, “I disapprove, but totally approve” look and a kiss {at which point, the kids walked away}. Sometimes the story led mom on a scavenger hunt through the house to reveal her gifts. Other years she got to sit in her rocker and read while dad handed us gifts to give to her. Sometimes the gifts were wrapped in metallic red paper. Sometimes they were wrapped in an old comic section of the newspaper. Every gift was exciting, chosen with love, and every year was different.  

But that is just the thing…

Every day was different and exciting in the Siccardi home. Christmas morning was something we looked forward to each year, but every single day was Christmas for our dad. If you knew him, you immediately saw that in the way he lived his life. Each day brought with it an opportunity to share a thought. To bring encouragement. To be a blessing. He genuinely looked forward to waking up and putting his feet on the floor, as long as it wasn’t too early. Some days I did not understand how he could be like that – always so cheery and optimistic. But he was, and because I am a realist, there are many days I really need to channel his disposition.

This Christmas will be different for us. A bit sadder than we anticipated and yet strangely filled with intense hope. I sit here and wonder if this is the same hope that was felt all those years ago when a baby was born in a stable. If I learned one thing from dad, it was this:

Joy does not come from circumstance and hope will change your perspective

Long after the presents have been opened and the meals have been served, I pray that you rest in the peace of the story of Jesus. The story of bold love. Israel waited and waited for the Messiah. His arrival as a baby in a manger was not at all what they expected. He was their light in a dark world. A baby brought forth from heaven to bring joy and reconciliation. He was their glimmer of hope, flickering in the candlelight. Let him be yours as well.

On behalf of the Siccardi kids, we wish you all joy, hope, and peace this Christmas and well beyond. Thank you for showing up for our dad. Thank you for showing up for us. Whether life is currently wrapped in shiny paper and topped with the prettiest bow you can imagine, or if it is adorned in an old piece of the Sunday comics, let’s face the new year with much joy and great hope. When we peel off the paper, we will discover the most precious gifts are those chosen with love.

~ D

This entry was posted in holidays, joy, love, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Christmas of Hope

  1. Mandi says:

    Beautiful Dee! ❤

    Like

  2. There’s an empty chair at table,
    and less beneath the tree;
    We’ll smile if we are able,
    to hide our misery.
    There’s one less voice in choir,
    and some old jokes are gone,
    but circumstance requires
    that merriment go on
    to honour the departed,
    give grace to memory,
    pay homage to big-hearted
    joys of history…
    and if this our hearts can do,
    we’ll see Heaven Shining Through.

    Like

  3. Compliments of the season.

    Like

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