Christmas: 10, 20, and 30 Years Ago

I was tagged for a meme a couple of weeks ago by one of my blogging buddies- SLW. I decided to respond in a slightly different way. Since it’s the Christmas season, just like the venerable Christmas story of Scrooge, I’m going to take a jog down memory lane to Christmases past.

-30 Years Ago: Christmas 1977…

Christmas was an exceedingly busy time of the year for us in 1977. We were living in a rented house in Ontario, California at the time and had 3 little boys ranging in age from 1 1/2 to 7 years of age. I was an Assistant Pastor and extremely busy with activities at the church.

I can remember that Christmas Eve was an incredibly long night as I played ‘Santa Claus’ trying to put together one bike, one trike, and a sit-on firetruck for our toddler. I have never been very handy with tools and of course it never fails that on Christmas Eve, parts are missing and we forgot to buy the needed batteries.

I finally settled into my cozy bed for the proverbial long winters night at 4 am, when lo and behold there was a clatter and the sounds of laughter. Grandpa and Grandma Davis had shown up early, real early at 5 am. My father was at the door yelling Ho, Ho, Ho! to the delight of my 3 boys, nobody heard my groans.

Later that day, the bike and the trike fell apart, leaving me to explain how lousy Santa is at putting toys together. Those where the days and fond are the memories.

-20 Years Ago: Christmas 1987…

Christmas 1987 found us living in our own house in Corona, California. I had been asked to take over as head Pastor of a church in Covina effective January 1. We decided to reject the opportunity and started attending a large church in Anaheim pastored by John Wimber -called Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Some incredible times followed that decision.

We had 4 children ranging in age from 8 to 17 years of age, the youngest was our daughter Kaycee. With three older brothers to show her how to do everything, she couldn’t help but be a ‘tomboy’. So much for the curls and the pink dresses that my wife longed to see her in.

When the kids were little, it was traditional for us to read from the Bible about the first Christmas and the birth of our Savior every Christmas eve before they went to bed. At the end of the story I would ask them what Christmas was really all about. The answer was supposed to be John 3:16. By the Christmas Eve in 1987, they all quoted the verse together when I asked.

That Christmas Eve also found me trying to put together three scooters (which was the ‘in’ thing at the time) and a bike. One of the scooters was missing parts but fortunately ToysRus was open till midnight and it was only 11 PM. I exchanged it for another and was back home by 12 and quickly discovered that the new one was also missing some vital parts, however one of the other boxes had extra parts and I was able to get them all together. It was a long night for sure.

As usual, Grandpa and Grandma Davis showed up at the crack of dawn to begin the festivities.

After breakfast, our 11 year old came in holding the bike handle bars that had come off on his first ‘Evel Knivel’ jump. Right then and there, I made a ‘new Years resolution’ to get some ‘real’ tools and finally learn how to use them.

The turkey was cooking on the oven, so we thought. At 3 PM when it should have been done, my wife checked it and found the oven off and the turkey still raw. Somehow and for some reason Grandma Rutter had mistakenly turned the oven off. It was late in the evening before we would finally see the turkey and all the fixins before us. The prayer over the meal was rather short on that occasion.

-10 Years Ago: Christmas 1997…

In 1997, we were living in Lake Forest, California in the house where we still live. We were attending Vineyard Mission Viejo at the time. Our two youngest, Christopher and Kaycee were going to Saddleback College. Our two older boys John and Glenn were living on their own, John was attending UCLA and Glenn was married to Michelle and our first grandchild, Chantelle, was a baby at the time.

Gone were the long nights of putting toys together as we entered a new season in our life. I finally got a good nights sleep. Grandpa Davis had passed on in 1995 at the ripe old age of 90, but Grandma Davis was still with us and Grandma Rutter lived in a home near by. We would still have the two Grandmas for a couple more years.

That year, the magic of Christmas could be seen in the eyes and on the face of our 1 year old grand daughter Chantelle as she experienced the sights, tastes, and smells of her first Christmas.

We have a treasured picture of that day with Grandpa (now me!) and granddaughter taking a richly deserved nap during the long hot Southern California Christmas afternoon.

-Today: Christmas Season 2007…

We are still in Lake Forest. The Vineyard church moved into larger facilities in Laguna Niguel.

Our oldest, John, lives in Hollywood. Glenn and his wife Michelle live in Riverside with two of our grandchildren, Chantelle and James. Christopher and his wife Grace, live in Corona with our other two grandchildren, Modris and Zoie.

Our world traveling daughter Kaycee is home for Christmas before she travels with a new show in January. She’s in ‘show business’.

She has done one movie, apprenticed on a television show, and then worked as a stage manager on a number of cruise ships, and even traveled with Ringling Brothers for one tour.

Lately she has managed the stage lighting for several traveling broadway shows, most recently ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’, and ‘Go Diego, Go!’. It is really nice to have our ‘baby girl’ home for Christmas.

The torch has been passed, but everyone will travel to our house for Christmas dinner in the afternoon. Prime Rib has become our traditional Christmas meal, and grandpa (me) is famous for fixing the best Prime Rib. I can’t wait!

It will be fun to see the faces of our grandchildren as they excitedly respond to gifts and activities of the day.

As usual, as we sit around the Christmas table eating the meal, I will remember all the special Christmases past that have come and gone, and I will look forward to what the new year will bring and Christmases to come.

Note: Rather than choose three more victims for the meme, I challenge all of you to write about your past Christmases and your hopes for those in the future.            *Top

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