Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 20, 2013

ED VASICEK: Christmas through many eyes

We have many blessings from which to choose

Kokomo Tribune

---- — The survey below is fictional. The answers, however, are realistic.

“Pardon me,” I asked, microphone in hand, “I am taking a survey here in the mall. What do you like most about Christmas?”

“Hard to say, bub,” the elderly “Pa Kettle” sounding man answered. “Might be the stockings we fill for the grandkids. Might be the sweets. When I was dating the Mrs., it was definitely the mistletoe. I guess, though, I would have to say the music. I love hearing old Bing croon “Boo boo boo, I’m dreaming of a white Christmas ... boo boo boo.”

“Thanks,” I acknowledged. I like Bing too. With or without the “boo boo boo.”

“Pardon me, ma’am, what is your favorite thing about Christmas?” I inquired.

The middle-age woman answered, “Well, I love the shopping. You don’t have to hold back at Christmas time. I look only for bargains, mind you. The parties are fun too. And the time off of work — so nice to sleep in. But if I were to pick one thing, I guess it would be spending time with family.”

“Great thought,” I commented. I, too, enjoy time with my family. Seems like there is never enough of it.

A teen lad was my next interview. “Pardon me, I am taking a survey. What is your favorite thing about Christmas?”

“Well, I like the gifts. I am hoping to get some really cool video games this year. But I also like the way people think of others. I volunteered to help pack boxes for the Rescue Mission. My mom helped with We Care. So I like to get stuff, but it is cool to give, too.”

“I like you, son,” I answered. Good thoughts.

I then interviewed a young woman who was holding a bundle of bags. “Pardon me, miss, but I am taking a survey. What is your favorite thing about Christmas?”

“For me, it is celebrating the birth of Jesus. He is my Savior and has changed the course of my life, so I want to celebrate his birthday — even if we cannot be sure it is December 25. This is the time of year we have chosen to remember his entrance into our world.”

“I am with you completely,” I commented. I, too, value the original meaning of the holiday above all else.

Soon I saw a mom with two little children. “What do you kids like most about Christmas?”

“Santa,” both children answered, “and lots of presents and goodies.” Somehow I was not surprised.

Mom replied, “The thing I enjoy most is seeing the kids excited on Christmas morning as they open their presents. It is one of the greatest joys of life.”

I remember those special Christmas mornings with my own children. It seems that when your kids are young, you become a kid again at Christmastime. I miss that.

“Pardon me,” I interjected, as a young man walked by, “what do you like most about Christmas?”

“Well,” he answered with a Canadian accent, “I love the snow. Makes me feel like I am home. I like to sled, build snowmen, skate, play hockey, and do some cross-country skiing. So I especially like a white Christmas.”

I am among those who enjoy the winter, although I am far from athletic.

As I strolled further down the mall, I stopped to hear a group of carolers singing. They sang, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” my favorite Christmas carol. They sang, “Deck the Halls,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” They ended their selections with “Silent Night.”

“This,” I thought to myself, “is what makes Christmas so unique. It is not just one or two things, but a host of blessings that make for an unprecedented holiday.”

Yes, what we emphasize may differ, but what a Christmas plethora we have! Merry Christmas to all my readers: God bless us, one and all!

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@gmail.com.