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Advent | Week 3 | Monday

Memories on Mondays

Crabb family holidays as Ken and I (Kep Crabb) were growing up always revolved around two things, Jesus and mom.  I remember Dad always emphasizing giving back in the name of Jesus.  And telling us we needed to do something special for Mom.  Dad would prepare blueberry pancakes before we would dive into the presents under the tree.   

I’m reminded of a story, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, on one of my early Christmases.   We never “believed” in Santa since most Christmas times, we (Kenny and I) would go to the store and pick out some of our gifts for Christmas morning – we knew mom and dad were really “Santa”.  Dad and I were shopping one afternoon, and I had a little money to spend on a toy.  He told me that I was only allowed to spend a certain amount, and as I got back to the car, he asked, “How much did you spend?” 

After some prodding, I told him the amount, and I had spent more than we agreed on.  He said I needed to take that toy back in.  As I slowly walked back to the store to return my toy, he went and bought me the same toy.  As we got back to the car, he gave it to me and said, “You deserve to be punished, but this is the gift of grace.”  That still impacts me today.  I have many of those stories about how my Dad parented me – awesome!

Dad was also a prolific poem writer.  From before I can remember he began writing poems for holidays, birthdays, and special occasions.  Mom saved most of those, and here’s one that was fun to look at from many years ago: 

From Florida’s shores, Christmas greetings we send

In Shakespearean verse (you’re asked to pretend);

Tho’ it’s not just like William (but he’s OK too),

It’s the Crabb way of saying Merry Christmas to you.

With brown curly hair and no adipose lack,

We measure Ken’s weight by the pain in mom’s back.

A milk spilling whiz, drawer emptier too, 

Now walking and talking, each day something new.

Kep’s taller and bigger (in six months he’ll be four).

His chatter and laughter make a pleasant dull roar.

School’s soon upon him, then college? work? wife?

Nothing speeds by like your child’s young life.

 Another new home, so mom’s still on the go.

Orange trees to plant and new curtains to sew, 

Plus picking Kep’s pre-school, pulling Ken from the shelf

And after making Dad happy, grabbing time for herself.

New job and new home (same wife, but she’s fun);

Dad’s shrinking heads now in the Florida sun;

He keeps himself busy, there’s plenty to do–

Golf every morning and the beach after two.

The Lord has been good, we’re much in His debt.

In a word lacking peace, we’ve no cause to fret.

Our Christmas is merry when we rest in His love.

We wish you that joy which comes from above.

Holiday memories of my Mom always stand out.  She enjoys decorating for the holidays and other celebrated days on the calendar.  From the 4th of July to Easter, she went all out.  I recall her setting up an advent countdown calendar to Christmas Each day Kenny and I would hang an ornament on that calendar as Christmas seemed to take forever to finally arrive.  I would bet she still has that calendar somewhere today.  She always wanted to make our family holidays memorable.  Sitting at the table after dinner playing the Memory Game as a family – family times were a priority with my folks.

I can honestly say that I have been truly blessed to have a father and mother who loved me in a way that helped shape who I am to this day.  I’ve been shown by them how to put Jesus on display and how to love others.   Merry Christmas, everyone!

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