In honor of Cindy Vincent’s novella, Yes, Carol…It’s Christmas!—a fun modern-day reimagining of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with its ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future—Cindy is going to visit Christmas past, present, and future in today’s tour post. Enjoy!
When it comes to Christmas Past, one of my favorite memories is from Christmas 1988, when my husband, Rob, and I were still dating and just a few months from getting engaged. That year, his Christmas present to me was one of the most special he has ever given me.
So what was this treasured gift? Diamonds, emeralds or rubies? Nope. He gave me a computer program. MS Word, to be specific. On the surface, it doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it? Especially since I didn’t even own a computer. Back in 1988, computers weren’t so prevalent like they are today, and not everyone had one.
But Rob did own a computer, an Apple Macintosh. (And yes, it was a pretty big hint that he bought me a computer program to use on his computer someday, considering we had a long-distance relationship at the time!) But here’s the rest of the story.
Only months before, I went through my employee evaluation at work, and my boss asked what my long-term goals were. Of course, I listed all the usual things, but I also told him that I wanted to write books. It wasn’t a big leap in my mind, since I’d enjoyed writing fiction as a child, and later, my college professors had encouraged me to write professionally. Thankfully, my boss responded with encouragement, too, and I left his office feeling elated.
Then I ran smack dab into a whole lot of discouragement. When my colleagues asked how my meeting had gone, I told them about my goals. Much to my horror, my much older colleagues (mostly with Ph.D.’s) treated the idea like it was a joke. After all, I was only in my twenties at the time and merely had a master’s degree. What could I possibly know about writing a book? To make matters worse, after I mentioned the idea to friends later, I got a pretty lukewarm reception from them, too.
With so much negative feedback, I immediately started to wonder if my dream of authoring books was too outlandish and beyond my abilities. And for a while, I actually listened to those naysayers. That was, until Christmas morning when I unwrapped my present from Rob—a computer program. A program he thought I would need when I wrote my first book. In other words, my soon-to-be husband not only gave me a huge vote of confidence, but he also gave me the practical application to achieve my goals. It was just the encouragement that I needed, and it also let me know that he was the man for me. We got engaged less than a month later.
Every year at Christmas, it always seems like there’s a mad rush to get all the decorations out. I put up three inside trees every year, and plenty of other inside embellishments as well. But the biggest show for us takes place outside, in our front yard. And this year, we’re expanding our Griswolds-style light show. We’ve got three controller boxes hooked to a computer, and the lights are choreographed to music. Here’s a picture of last year’s lights.
And here’s a picture from a couple of years ago. (Yes, we often win the neighborhood light competition!)
Otherwise, for once, we’re just looking forward to a quieter Christmas season than normal. Instead of hosting a party this year, I think we’ll have some friends over for dinner and maybe take some time to relax and contemplate the reason for the season. Sometimes it’s just nice to slow down and gaze at the stars.
To look forward to Christmas Future, I want to start by looking back. Specifically, to the old black-and-white movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Within the story, you’ll note that celebrating Christmas and wishing people “Merry Christmas” was commonplace during that era. Much like it was when I grew up in the 1960s and 70s. But over the last few decades, I’ve seen a decline in the celebration and open expression of Christmas, with a debate on whether people should even wish each other “Merry Christmas” or not. In fact, here in Texas, our governor signed into law something that was dubbed the “Merry Christmas Bill,” making it legal for teachers and other school employees to continue to say, “Merry Christmas,” without fear of being fired. To me, it’s pretty sad that such a bill might even be necessary.
So . . . when I look to Christmas Future, I know in my heart that I want to do all I can to help preserve the traditions of Christmas, so that future generations can know the joy I have known, as we celebrate Christ’s birthday during this very special season.
How about you?
Cindy and I would love to hear a favorite memory, your plans for this holiday season, or a dream you have for a future Christmas! Also, don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a “party in a box”! (See the tour introduction post for more details.)
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