Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A Simple Christmas by Mike Huckabee - wise advice for a crazy world!
Christmas, at least for me, had become a time of stress and panic over the years. I think a lot of folks would probably share that sentiment. But this Christmas I have vowed to slow down, reflect on Christmases past when I was young and when simple things brought joy, and try to bring that to my family this year. So I was pleased to find that Mike Huckabee was thinking along the same lines as I was.
The hard part, in today's crazy world, is remembering that those simple things are the most precious of all. In his book, “A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate The True Holiday Spirit,” Huckabee recounts twelve Christmas memories, often funny, sometimes deeply moving, that range from his childhood in Arkansas to his years as a young husband and father to his time as a governor and then a presidential candidate.
One of my favorite stories in the book was when as kids, Mike and his sister would sneak open their gifts before Christmas, play with them, then rewrap them so their parents wouldn't notice. The plan worked great for several years until one Christmas morning when young Mike unwrapped a brand-new football...that was covered in mud. That led to a powerful lesson about patience. (Wish my own kids had learned that lesson! My 17 year old still wants to peek in the presents!)
In 1966, like millions of teenagers of that era, Mike was obsessed with the Beatles. He remembers telling his parents that if they didn’t buy him a guitar for Christmas, he didn't want anything at all. He was so stubborn about it, having no clue as to what it would take for working-class parents to find an extra $99 to buy that guitar. It took many years for him to understand the sacrifice they made for that life-changing gift--or how it connected to the Lord's own sacrifice.
And one of the most heartwrenching stories was about when only a year after Mike and his wife, Janet, had gotten married, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the shocking age of twenty. That Christmas of 1975 was the most terrifying and upsetting they would ever know, as they wondered if they would ever get to share another one. But in retrospect, it's a Christmas they will treasure forever.
If you're looking for a little inspiration at this crazy time of year, check out Mike Huckabee’s “A Simple Christmas.” It is a book that is sure to become a annual treasure. I know it will in my family.