Tuesday, 23 December 2014
The Ghosts of Christmas Past.
My grandpa had built a replica Matterhorn, a miniature Swiss chalet and life-size toadstool beneath the boughs of a massive Canadian spruce he'd planted many years before. At night he would switch on the fairy lights he'd decked around the lower branches of the tree, and to a child with my fertile imagination, it was like being transported to fairyland. He'd then gather all us grandkids around him, the older ones perching precariously on the toadstool, the younger ones on his knees, and begin to tell us stories - Czech fairytales, myths and legends - that have stayed with me forever.
Those were magical Christmas nights under the stars, as I clutched my favourite toy and listened rapt imagining I could see monstrous trolls, water sprites, wood fairies and mischievous elves peering at me through the thick branches of the trees above us. The chirping of night crickets and frogs only added to the enchanted atmosphere my grandpa was able to create.
Decades later, I look back on those Christmas times as among the happiest of my life.
I love Christmas, with all its memories of good things past, but the hope it promises for the future is far greater than a fairytale. A king was born to take our sins upon his own shoulders so all who put their trust in Him will have the certainty of Heaven. What a perfect happily ever after.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and God's blessing into the new year.