5th Dec, 2009

The Rileys and Charlie Brown

I was just remembering today a time when I was 8 years old. We moved to Lakeland, Florida, and had very little to live on. Christmas 1979 came upon us and my parents weren’t going to get a Christmas tree because things were so tight. When they told me, I cried and cried and cried. Like Alice in Wonderland. It should come as no surprise that we ended up with a Christmas tree.

You see, now that we are in Kona as full-time mission workers and since we are going to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines by giving our Christmas away, we had not put up any Christmas decorations. When we sold our house in Arkansas we sold nearly everything. We packed up our Christmas décor and left it at Tara’s parents. It seemed somewhat odd to buy Christmas stuff here when we never know how long we will be anywhere, when money is less prevalent and what is there we want to take with us to the Philippines, and when we know we will spend Christmas somewhere else.

Moreover, unlike the crying fit that I threw, none of our kids had said a word about it (which truly blesses this daddy). But while leaving the house today I remembered that time in 1979. And I remembered my parents’ sacrifice for one little boy. And I knew we should do something.

So, tonight we bought a small five foot white metal, multi-colored lighted tree, a couple of Christmas pillows, a Snowman, a few ornaments, a Christmas candle, and we broke out the Christmas CDs. The house was reborn with the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. It isn’t much, but we are truly thankful for a God who gives and gives and gives.

Merry Christmas! Jesus lives.

Here are a couple of quick pictures of the tree.


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