To our children, Christmas is one of those special times of the year. When I was growing up it was the best time of the year and was always a long time coming. New Year was always an anticlimax, despite my Scottish heritage and the importance of Hogmanay in that country.
When I was 6 years old, we lived with our mum and grandmother in Edinburgh, Scotland. Christmases were cold and snow filled. My father, who was living the life of a broken hearted single dad back in Australia, was probably having a very lonely Christmas Day away from his two boys.
Unfortunately, you only learn these things much later in life. Perhaps it was my subconscious awareness of this that gives me such a heart for single dads and the pain they go though. Christmas time is a difficult time of year for a single father who cannot see his kids.
I can remember Christmas pudding, ginger wine and lots of presents. Scottish people are incredibly kind, quite the reverse of the myth. I was a few years past 6 before I suspected my parents had something to do with the magical appearance of all my gifts, such was my naivety.
I loved the Christmas songs, the presents, the decorations and the parties and so do our children. We forget this at our peril. Our challenge as fathers to find the true gold of Christmas and give it to our children and I don’t mean just presents.
What is the real meaning of Christmas anyway? ‘The Nativity Story’ www.thenativitystory.com is probably as close as it gets for Hollywood and in an overall sense is pretty close to the historical record. This is a great movie to show your children and grandchildren about the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is fast becoming a worldwide celebration, more because of cross-consumerism than respect for the original reason for the celebration.
As a child I had a vague idea that Christmas was to do with Jesus, but Santa Claus loomed larger than life to a six year old boy and the birth of Jesus Christ took a back seat to the purveyor of presents.
But what of this person Jesus Christ? Dr James Allan probably sums up better than anyone else the real reason why Jesus Christ’s birthday was first celebrated and continues to be celebrated and the powerful effect he had on human history.
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth
When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend
Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life
Dr James Allan Francis 1926
Tell your children that the real reason we celebrate Christmas is because it was the birth of Christ. Yes, the truth of Christmas can be lost in the glitter, but the gold still shines. James Allan Francis “One Solitary Life,” is a great piece of prose to help everyone understand the Reason for the Season. Why not read it to your children?
Merry Christmas and God’s blessings to you and your family this Christmas and New Year and beyond, from my wife and I and the team at Dads4Kids.
Yours for a happy and safe holiday season
PS: We take this opportunity to thank all our contributors and supporters for their help during the year and look forward to an even greater 2019.