Fiction Friday

Best Christmas Ever!

At our December meeting, we enjoyed a discussion about the power of gratitude, and its ability to help us create realistic, meaningful Christmas expectations.

Our discussion brought to mind one Christmas Eve when I, as is my common practice, fell asleep reading on the couch. Around one o’clock, one of the small, furry creatures that lives with me jumped on my chest and woke me up long enough that I thought about finding my bed, but not long enough for me to actually haul my carcass up the stairs. The dog, in fact, snuggled into a small empty spot behind the crook of my knees, and we both fell back to sleep.

When first light started to brighten the windows in the living room, I once again awoke. My church’s Christmas Eve service the night before had been less pageant and more fellowship. The pastor had asked if a few people would like to share a favorite Christmas memory. I couldn’t come up with anything at the time.

But as I watched the dawn break that Christmas morning, I did remember one of my favorite Christmas moments with my youngest son, Jacob. I won’t go into every serendipitous occurrence that brought us to this point, but I’ll never forget six-year-old Jake cracking a smile of pure, spontaneous joy and crying, “This is the best Christmas ever!”

Outside, shapes started to emerge from the dark and the fog—a frosty white Christmas is a gift in itself—and as I listened to the sound of my family starting to stir, I thought about how happy Jake’s joy made me that Christmas morning. There are few gifts more precious to a parent than seeing your children overtaken by joy. Nothing compares.

I’ve had a beautiful life, but it’s not been without struggle, pain, tragedy and trauma. My main theme over the past decade has often been one of perseverance… in life, in faith. I don’t expect this life or this relationship with the Uncreated Creator to ever get any easier. Lately, though, I’ve been feeling an almost overwhelming gratitude, and as the apostle Paul wrote to the earliest Christians in his letter to the Philippians, a journey with God that is filled with gratitude is also the road that leads to peace and joy.

One of the names for God is Everlasting Father. Gratitude—for what has been, for what will be—thankfulness that leads to joy is a gift I can give my Father. His joy is my joy. Mine is His. He in me, me in Him. It always comes back to the eternal, the everlasting. He is the most loving, most merciful, the kindest of fathers, giving only good gifts. No matter what, I want to give Him my joy. On every beautiful day, every normal one and in the darkest hours—Christmas day and every day—as long as He is my father, as long as I am His child…best day ever!

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW. Originally published at Worth Of A Word


  • Lisa Michelle Hess

    Lisa Michelle Hess has lived in every state on the Pacific Coast and loved the people in all of them. Over the years, she’s been a journalist, non-profit consultant, bookseller, and literature teacher, which were all her favorite jobs while she had them. Her current favorite career is Bookpusher at the Boise Public Library in Boise, Idaho, where she lives with one husband, one dog, and two turtles. You can find some of Lisa’s other stories in Passageways: A Short Story Collection. The Ghost of Gold Creek is her first full-length novel.

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