As a sidenote in this past Sunday's sermon, our pastor said something interesting. Do you realize that the only Christmases that are memorable are the ones with, let us say, "unexpected" developments? But the happy Christmases are the ones we forget.
The context for this remark was what Mary must have thought when told by the angel Gabriel that she would be bearing a child. Mary was smart. She knew very well what could have happened when everyone found out she would be bearing an out-of-wedlock baby. She could have been disgraced. She could have been an outcast. She could even have faced a brutal death by stoning. Certainly this was not your ordinary day! But it was, you must admit, a remarkable one. Ordinary days are forgotten. Remarkable days are not.
Our pastor mentioned the opening line of Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Similarly, happy Christmases (or any other celebratory event) are thoroughly enjoyable and a blessing in every way, but they're all alike. It's the celebrations where we experience unexpected twists (bad or good) that make them memorable.
For example, when my youngest brother turned 14, my parents threw him a party and my mother indulged in a beautiful store-bought cake for him. It was a magnificent creation. Wanting to surprise him, she kept the cake in its box upstairs in a closet.
When the time came to produce the cake with a dramatic flourish, she slipped upstairs... and a few moments later we heard a blood-curdling SCREAM. Alarmed, we all scrambled upstairs. There we found my mother near tears, with a cake smashed at her feet.
She had picked the cake box up by its edges and after a few steps, the box collapsed in the middle and fell to the floor.
Well, I hate to say it, but we all howled. It was hilariously funny. Being a good sport, my mother and brother scooped the cake remains onto a platter, brought it downstairs, stuck in fourteen candles, and proceeded from there.
But we have never forgotten that cake. I can't remember any other birthday celebration for any of my brothers except that one. All the other celebrations went smoothly, you see, and therefore we forgot about them.
So what kind of "memorable" Christmases (or other celebrations) have you had? Tell us!