Ari’s Gift

Few gifts have been as precious as the one our grandson, Ari, gave us this Christmas. Teckla and I approached this Christmas with sadness. It is our first Christmas since Peter died, Ari’s first Christmas without a father or mother around. We are planning on moving to Kansas in July, so it is our last Christmas at this house with all its memories. And there are also the worries about Teckla’s memory loss, doctor’s appointments, and tests.

But in all these melancholic gray days of Oregon winter, Ari as been as bright as new penny. He has overflowed with Christmas spirit. He delighted in our small-town Christmas parade with fire engines and ambulances. He sat on Santa’s knee at the feed-store. He asked to go to church on Christmas Eve for the candlelight service. Leading up to Christmas, he excitedly counted all the days on the advent calendar. Ari made certain we left milk and cookies for Santa.  And on Christmas day, Ari did a happy dance as he looked at the presents under the tree.

But even better was the genuine gratitude that spilled out after he opened each gift. He quickly put down the present and gave Teckla and I a hug and kiss. He had an amazing ability to be equally grateful for small and large gifts. His joy over each gift made us want to give even more. His smile has been our Christmas star, his laughter our Christmas carol. Looking at how much joy Ari has given us, I can’t help but think about how much our heavenly Father delights in our gratitude and our full-hearted enjoyment of His gifts, both great and small. My New Year’s resolution is to be more like Ari, grateful for every good gift from God, hugging God close with praise and love and offering up an old man’s happy dance to a baby in a manager

About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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