How Christmas saved a ‘grinch’

Besides getting an electric train, a gigantic teddy bear, and a “Sneaky Pete” magic set, the thing I remember most about Christmas as a kid was the spirit of the whole season.

It usually started sometime around the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and lasted until the final needle fell from the tree. For about six weeks, I would experience real joy and excitement and even a sense of genuine love.

Then in my junior year of high school, come Thanksgiving time, I didn’t notice any change. K-Mart’s decorations had been up since October, the Sunday school program was history, the Advent candles were burned to stubs, and all the angel hair was finally vacuumed up. But I hadn’t felt any change!

Gasp! Had I become a Scrooge at the tender age of 16? The next season became a “Ghost of Christmas Past” and still no change.

Then it dawned on me, as if I had finally found the burned out bulb on a string of lights. I had been a professing Christian all my life. (I remember, at 8 years old, asking Jesus into my life while hiding under my roll-top desk during a lightning storm.) But that was about the extent of my spiritual journey—exact same lifestyle, exact same attitudes, and no real Bible reading or prayer life.

In my junior year, I decided to give God 100 percent of my messed up life. What a change! Real joy, real peace, real excitement that God was actually working with me to create a loving person.

No Grinch had stolen my Christmas. I now had the joy and love of Christ—and Christmas—all year round!

For more hope and ho! ho! ho! visit The 12 Sites of Christmas

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