December 24, 2012
As I sit here on Christmas Eve, I think back over the past few Christmases and I can remember Christmas 2008. I was in Baton Rouge county jail. And it was my first time to read the Christmas story in Luke and truly understand the meaning of Christmas. And to know that the only gift I needed was Jesus. The true Gift given to all who will receive Him.
I remember Christmas 2009. I was at Carswell and we put on an amazing Christmas special for the whole camp. I remember the lights and decorations all over the compound. And I remember thinking that I could celebrate Christmas no matter where I was because Christmas comes to us in the form of a little baby in a manger.
Christmas 2010 was a little stressful as I knew I was being transferred to Illinois at any time and didn’t know when it would be. So as we put together a Christmas program, I was already 2 steps out the door. But I do remember drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, making angel wings for the skit we were doing.
And I remember the New Year’s skit we did, “Everything” by Lifehouse, and how many people were in tears and were touched to the core by that skit.
I remember Christmas 2011 like it was yesterday. I will always treasure the gift that God gave me last year. If you haven’t read how I ran into a good friend from high school, Jenny, when she did a concert at my prison, it is definitely worth reading about.
It was a very special Christmas gift!
And this year, my gift tops it all… I am home with my family. And the weeks leading up to Christmas have all been part of the gift! Even though we have had our struggles through the holidays, losing our grandparents, it only makes me cherish each day with my family more than the last day.
I have had fun trying to sneak all my shopping in the few times I was able to get to a store. But I loved buying gifts. And I LOVED wrapping them! And when I opened my first gift at work last week, I almost cried because it was my first gift to unwrap at my first free Christmas.
But even if there were no gifts this year, I would be content. Because I have the greatest gift ever… my family and my Savior. And that’s all there really is to Christmas.