When I was a child we lived over seas for a time, and had not seen my Grandparent’s and Aunt for several years. It was a very lonely time, as they really knew how to love people.
When they heard that we were returning back home finally they decided to have Christmas in July as we were coming home a couple months before that. They had been unsure exactly when we would arrive home. It was very awesome!
My Grandparents even went so far as to put the lights on the outside of the house and light it up, and put up my Grandmother’s huge snowy Christmas tree. I have never seen an artificial tree like that tree since then. It was amazing!
When we lived over seas the clothing supplies were limited and not of good quality. A pair of regular Levis would sell for as much as $50 and back then at home they sold for $5. So we all looked pretty ratty most of the time. I even had my Dad’s old navy (and I don’t mean like the store of today, but literally) blue jeans as they fit me and they were the only thing that wasn’t high water on me. My Dad and were about the same height back then, but now I am taller as he is elderly.
It was a most wonderful gift to be loved so much that they wanted to spend Christmas with us, even though it was 8 months later than the traditional time of December. Not to mention that it was probably about 110 degrees in the shade when we got home!
I cannot express how well my Grandparents and my Aunt demonstrated the Love of Christ to all of us on a regular basis. They were a true blessing and example in our lives of how to live showing people love. They didn’t go to church, but they knew God and had respect for him and recognized Jesus Christ as their savior. They treated everyone they met with love and respect and kindness, even when they didn’t agree with them.
My Grandfather was the neighborhood’s go to guy when there was a knock or a ping in someone’s car that they didn’t know what was wrong. People would show up at their door asking if he would take a ride around the block in their car and “just listen to it and tell me what is wrong with it”. Over the years he took so many rides around the block with people that he should have been dizzy, but he was always glad to do it.
My Grandmother taught me by example what the “perfect” housewife should be like. She was simply amazing in her organization skills and ability to get a jigsaw puzzle together in short order. She was also a good secretary for my Grandfather in his business. She took messages all day every day for him, and he would call her and she would read them back to him.
My Aunt was the person that could spank you, but would be crying all the time she was doing it…I found out the meaning of “it hurts me more than it hurts you…” when I watched her cry and when I had my own children. Disciplining children is emotionally very hard because you really just want to play with them and enjoy them all the time, but just doing that would be irresponsible when you are the one in charge of helping them to become responsible, loving adults.
At any rate, I thought to share this little memory of Christmas in July and the excellent role models that God in his infinite wisdom provided for me and my siblings as we were growing up.
I am also very grateful to God that he led me to find a person to marry who has the same loving spirit toward me and our children that they demonstrated to me when I was growing up! I cannot thank God enough for the people he has brought into my life!