The Random Yak

Lest We Forget

Filed under: Christmas Alliance,Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:44 am on December 8, 2009

Sitting at lunch with Yak the Younger over the weekend, I reminded him that certain family members still needed to know “what he wants for Christmas.”  His answer came as a surprise.

“I wish they wouldn’t ask.”

“But if they don’t ask,” I pointed out (momentarily glorying in my own logic), “how will they know what to get you?  They don’t see you very often.  Maybe they don’t know you that well.”

“That’s the point,” he replied.  “I wish they did, because that would be better.”

While I tried to recover from the psychic EMP that is a 14-year old wishing he knew elderly relatives better, YtY swooped in and dropped an even bigger depth charge in my brain:

“Besides, it’s not about getting an expensive gift.  We only give presents to remind one another that Christ came into the world to live and die on our behalf.  The presents aren’t important, and if you put too much emphasis on them, people forget what they’re really all about in the first place.

“It doesn’t matter what they give me.  I know what it stands for, and I’m glad they care enough to send anything at all.”

At this point, my brain locked up.  I could only stare.  Not that I didn’t already understand his point (I may even have blogged along those lines, as well as making my views on Christmas lists well – and redundantly – known. ) – I just didn’t expect to hear a fourteen year old boy making it.

When the works came unstuck, one thought came to the forefront…thank you, Lord, for the son I have received.  I do not deserve this blessing any more than the multitude of others I enjoy – and for this one in particular, I am truly grateful.

Somehow, somewhere, some time along the way, Yak the Younger learned the real meaning of Christmas.  And when he stated it so clearly, without pretension and without a desire for “effect,” I realized that he not only absorbed it as something his parents taught him – he recognizes it as truth.

I have received my best gift this year.  Two, really.  First, the realization that my son – as delighted as he will be with the gift-that-shall-not-be-named when he sees it under the tree – understands and appreciates Christmas for the real reasons rather than the ones that come wrapped in (cat-tasted) ribbons and (slightly chewed) bows.  And second, that he isn’t afraid to stand up for those reasons even in circumstances when no one would shame him for going the commercial route.

So if the “Holiday Season” has got you down, the shopping is making you crazy and the general fluff threatens to turn you from Santa to Grinch, take a moment to remember the greater meaning of Christmas – and take comfort from knowing that you are not alone.

I confess that I don’t have great hope for most of the next generation.  In that, as in many other things, I become more like The Random Father with every passing day.  But the promised remnant is still among us, and the remnant does remember.  So take a moment and forget the rush, the bustle and the ribbon the cat just regurgitated on the rug.  It doesn’t matter what gift you’ve chosen, if you give it in the proper spirit, and it doesn’t matter what the glittering box contains, if you receive it as a symbol of the greater gift that none of us deserves but every one of us, miraculously, has the power to receive.

In a moment I’ll return you – and this blog – to the regular, irreverent style.  But as you move through the days between now and December 25, don’t let the sparkles overwhelm or distract you from what those gifts should really mean.

It’s not about glitter or paper or bows, or bright colored lights, or the first Christmas snows.  It’s not about creches or angels with wings, or four-letter words said when dropping glass things.  It’s not about candy, or parcels, or beer.  Christmas is for Jesus, and knowing He’s here.

(Update:  Apparently I’m not the only one riffing on this theme today. David at third world county has a similar sentiment – and a much better poem – on offer.)


  1. *me: blown away by 14-year-old’s wisdom*

    I’m stealing this to share with family. You can’t stop me. :-)

    Comment by David — December 8, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  2. I’m David’s “Wonder Woman”. He shared your post with me and I appreciated the post completely. My comment to David was that your son deserved a big hug. :)

    Comment by David — December 8, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

  3. [...] Random Yak has a “wonderful news” post that deals with this topic that’s worth your time. Yak, you and TRS have done [...]

    Pingback by third world county » A Reminder — December 9, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  4. Geez Louise! I remembered my log in here too! So much for chemo brain, it must be taking a rest tonight.

    I really appreciate this post and I know what you mean about not having much hope for the next generation, being a mother of a daughter who is 26, and two sons 18 and 21- however it isn’t because of my kids that I worry about that next generation- my kids pretty much have their priorities straight, but some of their friends, and the things they tell me about other people their age just floors me at times.

    As long as there are a few like your son and my children- surely there must be more and therefore- at least a glimmer of hope.

    Congrats on raising such a great kid :)

    Comment by Diane — December 9, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

  5. Thanks to all for the nice comments and appreciation. Also – welcome to the Wonder Woman and welcome back Diane! Nice to see you back.

    Comment by Random Yak — December 10, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

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