Then, after services had begun, I glanced over my shoulder at a couple of visitors who had come in late and had sat in the pew behind me.
The man wore regular clothes but had curly, white hair, a matching beard and bright, happy eyes behind wire-rimmed eyeglasses. The little girl in me came out. I had to wave. An hour later, I walked toward the glass doors of Oxford’s WalMart and heard a vehicle honk its horn behind me. I turned and saw Santa riding on a motorcycle, dressed this time in his red suit. He waved at all of us shoppers. I did not see his “Mrs. Claus.” I’ll bet she has trouble keeping up with that speedy fellow.
Also, on Sunday, I chose to postpone Christmas shopping to visit one of my friends who has a sick loved one. She has been with her family member at a hospital in Birmingham for several weeks; so I drove there. We found a quiet restaurant and shared family photographs, an inspirational article I had printed out for her, and lots of conversation. She wanted to talk about how honored she was to have the opportunity to be with her loved one during the illness. I gave her my undivided attention and she gave me her trust – two gifts that cost nothing but were invaluable to both of us.
Moments like we two friends shared on Sunday make all days special, and not only at Christmas time.
This coming week, my church, like many of yours, will give money, toys, and gifts to needy people. In the coming days, many of us will ring bells for the Salvation Army, sing in a choir, play in an orchestra, or treat neighbors with caroling. Others will attend parties hosted by church and civic groups, families and our workplaces. As we do these things, we should remember to cherish the time we spend with others. I often tell my family and friends, it’s not what we do that matters, it’s who we are with that makes our lives special. That truth will enhance our holiday and stay with us on ordinary days as well. In fact, it’s hard to have an ordinary day when we have family and friends near us.