Today marks the 100th day since this blog was started. As we prepare to celebrate the reason for Christmas in just twenty days, I wanted to celebrate my fondest Christmas memory...
It was a hot August day as we shopped at Costco with our three young children. We were surprised to see Christmas items on display and my wife was drawn to a musical globe that had a family inside of it that looked just like us. She wound up the globe and shook it so the snow swirled around. As we listened to "I'll Be Home for Christmas", her lower lip popped out and her puppy dog eyes stared at me. Slowly, see asked about going back to her home in the Midwest to celebrate Christmas. She wanted this trip to be a surprise for her dad and her siblings.
Time passed quickly as we secretly planned our trip. We did not tell our young children until it was time to fly because we did not want any slip ups. My wife was in regular contact with her family and managed to keep everything hush hush. It was not easy to plan a trip with a four year-old, a two year-old and a six month-old but the excitement was building inside of us. Our children cheered wildly when we told them just two days before Christmas that we were going to celebrate in the snow.
We had one inside person who was aware of our trip. Her job was to keep us informed of the family schedules so we could pull of the perfect surprise. The plane landed about two hours away from grandpa Spike's house and we rented a car. The roads were icy and there was a blanket of snow everywhere.
We parked the car down the street and hid as my wife rang the door bell. Her dad was missing. He had decided to take a drive through the town. Our inside person let us into grandpa's house and we left his Christmas present on the table as we hid on the stairs.
Grandpa came in through the back door and noticed the package on the table. His daughter said it had just arrived and he was to open it right away. We peeked around the corner and watched him open the Christmas globe. He seemed puzzled as he stared into it. He wound the music up and just sat there while we approached quietly from the stairway. We about gave him a heart attack as we shouted, "Surprise, we're home for Christmas!"
Grandpa Spike was seeing his youngest grandchild for the first time. The look on his face was priceless. The other two children could not wait to get outside and play in the snow. They made their first snow man and loved throwing snow balls.
My wife had planned to surprise each one of her siblings. She called them one at a time and pretended she was still home in southern California. Then she told each one how she wanted to see them in person and casually mentioned to see her at her dad's place. It was a Christmas memory that all of us will treasure forever.
As we celebrate this Christmas with our three teenagers, we will share this memory from fourteen years ago. Grandpa Spike also made a surprise trip. We were unaware of it until his departure. As much fun as he had with all of us at Christmas, it was time for him to join his wife and meet the person who is the real reason for the season. Until we join him, we will hold on to this precious memory of celebrating Jesus' birthday in the snow.
May you enjoy your friends and family during this very special time of year.