A Christmas Meditation—Otherwise

My granddaughter Ella’s third Christmas was a special one.  She was old enough to begin appreciating what was going on around her.  If you’ve ever witnessed the joy reflected in the eyes of a child or grandchild of your own you know what I am talking about. 

So on that Christmas Eve when Lee & co. had gathered at our house to celebrate Christmas, little Ella sat on the floor surrounded by a mountain of presents and a doting nana and papa.  Sonja had wrapped all the grand’s presents (Kids love to rip off wrapping paper, don’t they?) and so Ella slowly and

Ella today, older and wiser and sweeter than ever.

methodically strip away the wrapping paper…and then came the moment…her first glimpse at what was under the wrapping paper.  I’ll never forget her words.  With childlike wonder and sincerity she exclaimed, “Look it’s a box!” 


Of course, it didn’t take long for Ella to learn otherwise. 


Otherwise is a word of maturity, a word that bespeaks experience.      

One of the benefits of having a few Christmases under your belt is that you learn the meaning of otherwise. 

You look at the little children playing under the tree with the overabundance of gifts and they think it has always been this way; you know otherwise and are more grateful. 

You look at the young people, so busy with their plans that they rush through the family meal and family traditions thinking that mom and dad, siblings and grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and kin will always be there; but you know otherwise and you savor the moment and cherish the precious memories of Christmases of yesteryear.   

You observe the commercialization of Christmas with all its high dollar promotions, glitz and glamour, but you know otherwise and remember a young virgin holding a child…your Savior… 

…and you worship.




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