The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year for so many reasons. Growing up, Christmastime was amazing because we had several family gatherings and my sister and I got to spend time with grandparents and cousins, and got time off from school, to name just a few. Add in our many Christmas church activities and December was probably one of our favorite times of the year.
As children, we were oblivious to the sacrifices that others made on our behalf, and the Christmas season was no exception. Fast-forward to adulthood and Christmas is still a favorite season at our home. We get the decorations out of storage, turn on some old classic Christmas songs (think Bing Crosby, Perry Como, etc.), and break out the hot chocolate while we’re decorating the house each year. Our teenage son has even gotten into the feel-good Christmas movies that are so prevalent on TV this time of year.
Couple all of those fun activities with the Christmas story reminding us of the birth of Jesus and you would have to be a true Scrooge if you’re running around with a scowl this time of year.
Regardless of that joy we have as we celebrate together this holiday season, as adults we also realize there are men and women who are willing to sacrifice their holidays with family so that we can enjoy ours. In addition to the men and women serving in our military, our first responders work right here at home on Christmas — each year — to make sure we have access to emergency services of all types.
My sister-in-law and her husband are those very individuals who serve so selflessly so the rest of us can celebrate. Through ice, wind, snow, and all kinds of unpredictable situations, we’ve watched as she has responded to fire and medical situations without hesitation and never utters a single complaint. She has risked her safety and saved lives, with no hesitation — all so that a stranger gets a second chance at his life.
Am I grateful to our first responders this Christmas? More than words can express.
I’m grateful our children can enjoy Christmas just as we did in childhood, without all of the cares and worries that go with adulthood. May we show appreciation for our first responders who make that possible this Christmas season, and lift them up in prayer.