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Friday, December 09, 2005

An Eggnog Tale (Because it's good with a glass of eggnog)

The man, a husband and father in the prime of his life, placed one hand over his mouth and chin and stood perfectly still. His pounding heart drummed in his ears, but the house was silent except for the relentless ticking of the Grandfather clock.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. You-can't. Find-it. You-don't see-it. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Think, Greg, don't blow this!

If he didn't find it soon, he was going to miss it. He would miss everything entirely.

He raced from the kitchen back up to his bedroom taking two steps at a time. He tossed aside the credit card bills and department store receipts that buried the top of his dresser and then dropped to his knees, patting the ground like a suspect. But it was not to be found among the bills.

He threw open the door to his closet and systematically examined and sorted through the pyramid of presents his wife had hidden. But, it wasn't among the presents, either.

He ran to his daughter's bedroom and shook out the reindeer costume strewn across her bed. It was not there. Neither was it to be found in his son's violin case or under the sheets of Christmas music for his son's recital.

He checked his watch and then rubbed his clammy hands together. Not to warm them, but to steady them from shaking. His stomach flipped and then sank to his feet. Time was marching forward faster than he could catch it.

I can't miss this. Not this year. Not again.

Suddenly, a new idea set his feet on fire.

He scrambled out to the garage, his feet sliding across the smooth wood floor as he rounded the corner. In the extra refrigerator were neatly stacked boxes of home made cookies and breads that his wife had made for the church's food pantry. He opened every lid hoping to find it there, but was disappointed. He should have known it wouldn't be in the fridge.

Suddenly, an idea sprang upon him. He snapped his fingers and stabbed the air.

Ahah! That's it! That's where I'll find it!

He ran back into the living room, to the handsomely adorned Christmas tree. That's where they kept the pile of presents that they gave to the needy. They were a generous family, so there were a lot of presents to look through. Certainly, it would be found in there.

But as he made his way to the tree, he tripped and fell. The great, big lug of a man crashed to the floor and smashed his face into the nativity set. Underneath his nose was the baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger of straw.

And he beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Finally, his soul stopped searching. He had found it, the meaning of Christmas. It was there with Jesus and in Jesus. And, it had been under his nose the whole time.

A deep sigh of relief escaped from him. Having the meaning of Christmas embedded firmly in his heart, he was ready to move on. He went to the mirror and pulled himself together and then grabbed the keys from the dish in the foyer.

Swinging wide open the heavy front door, he stepped out into the bright sunshine of a glorious winter's day.

Merry Christmas!!!

by C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved

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