This Christmas, I've been a man on a mission. When I was a child, Christmas was one of my favorite times of the year. I have many happy memories tied to the holiday.
Chloe and Cole have finally reached those ages where they're able to understand that it's Christmastime.
They're beginning to make memories of their own, memories they will look back on in years to come with (hopefully) great fondness.
I've been doing all I can in order to help that become a reality. I've bought movies. I got "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "Miracle on 34th Street," "Rudolph," "Frosty," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Over the last week-and-a-half I've brought out one video every couple of nights, introducing Chloe and Cole to the classics that I grew up on.
The Christian radio station in Atlanta has been playing Christmas music. We listen to this station in the car and I've downloaded some of our favorites to my iPod so we can listen to them anytime, anywhere. We sing them together, which usually causes us all to break into fits of laughter.
During the last couple of weeks, we've also been seeing Christmas lights going up. Every couple of nights Amy and I will take the kids for a "special trip" to look at Christmas lights. I smile to myself as I hear Chloe and Cole "ooh" and "ahh" over them.
There's one particular light show over on Poplar Springs Road that the owner has set to music, which he broadcasts over a short distance radio station. Last year we started the tradition of getting a pizza and having a picnic in the van while we watch and listen to the show.
I think my plan is working. Chloe and Cole are really enjoying themselves with all the celebration and "specialness" of Christmastime.
Yet there's one very special occurrence we celebrate at Christmas, which can easily be lost among the movies and lights and special events.
If we forget it, that would truly be a tragedy, and my mission to make Christmas a special time for Chloe and Cole will be a failure. That special event is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is a special time with much celebration, but if not for Christ's birth there would be no reason to celebrate.
This Christmas, I encourage you to sit down with your family and read the account of Jesus' birth together - another special thing Amy and I will be doing with Chloe and Cole.
Here is the order of the Christmas account: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-15.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.