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Counting Christmases past
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 How many Christmases have you had in your life? I’m 50, so my natural response is, "Ummm, 50?" Well, that number is wrong. This will be my 51st Christmas. No matter when you were born, on December 25th of each year, you’ll have had one more Christmas than your age. Think about it. How old were you on your first Christmas? I was 8 months old that first December 25th, technically zero years old. On my second Christmas I was 1 year old, and so on. Do the math. It’ll always be your age plus one on any particular Christmas Day. And what if you were born on Christmas Day? Same story. Your first birthday party will be on your second Christmas. And you have my sympathies for that.

 "What a nice Christmas present! He’s giving us a useless math lesson..." Well, OK ... at least it’s not a polyester tie. The reason I went to great lengths to explain the math is because I want you to think back on all those wonderful Christmas experiences and not miss any. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, think back on your faith’s traditions and hear me out. I was shocked when I realized this will be my 51st Christmas. Maybe it’s your 18th, or 30th, or 80th. Or maybe it’s your 100th as it is with my Aunt Gladys. This is indeed her 100th Christmas, and yes... she turned 99 years old this year. I can’t imagine what it’s like to celebrate 100 Christmases. I wonder if I’ll get the chance...

 When you look back on all those Christmases, try to remember each one. You won’t succeed, but try anyway. Remember the fun, the food, and the friends and relatives who shared their love with you. Remember the lights, the presents, the festivities and the excitement that you loved each year. But most of all remember that Christmas — the Christian faith’s tradition that rises above the tinsel and wrapping paper — is first and foremost a story of redemption and God’s love for his creation. God has seen every Christmas, and he remembers each one of them perfectly. He remembers the gift his son came to give you, the joy his birth brought, and the power that is unleashed when the gift of grace is accepted.

Remember your Christmases, and remember them for what they really are — the celebration of the Savior’s birth and mankind’s hope for eternity.



David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at davmccoy@bellsouth.