Grandpa had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; and he was getting up in age, so it appeared that this Christmas could very possibly be his last. For quite some time now, he had been living his life somewhere in the past, but on this particular Christmas day, with family gathered for a wonderful dinner; as he sat quietly in his chair while we were all talking and enjoying each others’ company, when Grandpa said,

“You forgot something.”

We each looked around and could not see what he thought we had forgotten; the tree was up, lights were lit up and twinkling, with the stockings hung cheerfully on the fireplace. Grandpa again exclaimed,

“You forgot someone.”

Just who did we forget? It seems like everyone is here this year. Thinking Grandpa may not have it all together, we just kept on talking and having fun with each other. From the aromas coming out of the kitchen, Grandma and the ladies of the family had out-done themselves again this year, while preparing us a wonderful dinner. We each took our places at the holiday table when Grandpa said loudly,

“You all forgot the chair.”

Again, family members glanced around to find everyone seated and no one left standing without a place to sit. Those gathered at the table began eating and chattering, without a second thought.

“All of you forgot someone!” Grandpa said firmly

“Ok, who did we forget grandpa, everybody is here” I said.

“No, you forgot Him”

Grandpa then put his hands together and calmly said,

“You all forgot Jesus. There is no music here to glorify Him, you left no place at the table for Him. You all forgot to give Him thanks for this wonderful year. You all seemed to forget the reason for this holiday. This is our Savior’s birthday, you all seemed to have forgotten it. Now my family let us all remember what this season is supposed to be all about. Let us all bow our heads and give thanks for this glorious season, for our family's health, and for our many blessings.”

As we all bowed our heads that year Grandpa lead us in prayer on that Christmas day. It was to be his last. But now there is always an empty chair and place setting at our family table on Christmas day.

Many Blessings: Merry Christmas

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Verse © 2006 Steven L. Siegel

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