Guest Writer: Logan Hawley
Growing up, Christmas was what you looked forward to starting on January 1st! I grew up knowing the true meaning behind Christmas and loved all the family get-togethers when the holidays came around. I have a very large extended family, full of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and of course, cousins. Every year there was always a large gathering of the Hawley’s at Grandma’s house, on the evening of Christmas Eve. Whenever there are that many Hawley’s in one place trouble and mischief was soon to follow.
Once we arrived, Grandma would always have some of the best food for everyone to enjoy and fellowship and catch up on missed time. Then after the food and fun, we would all gather in the large family room around our grandfather as he passed our “program” for the night and sang a few Christmas song of his choosing. Each year, the youngest grandchild, that could be understood, recited the Christmas story they have been studying for weeks. We would then run around as fast as possible and hand all the gifts out to everyone who had gifts under the tree. Being from a large family, you could always count on five or so gifts that night. After the sounds of ripping paper, thank yous and screaming came to an end, we would hear the sounds of bells coming from outside! Of course, it was Santa! Each year my grandfather would hire a Santa to come in with a big bag of presents and give each and every grandchild a special gift from Santa.
This was always a fun way to spend the holiday evening, but before we all went back to our homes that evening, we would all gather around and pray our thanks, and praises to God and the true sacrifice He made for us by sending His Son so that we would be forgiven of our sins.
To this day, Christmas is by far my favorite time of year! When the month of September comes around, Christmas goes from a holiday to a lifestyle for me. The house gets covered in lights, the truck gets Christmas lights inside, and a wreath gets placed on the front of the truck. I grew up with a beautiful balance of Christmas and Christ this time of year, and I want to pass that on so that Madison can experience all that Christmas has to offer. From gifts and cooler weather to Christ and Family gatherings. Have a Merry Christmas this year!