Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Perciful Christmas

I was asked to write an article for the school's English newspaper this week. Most folks have written a time or two. I thought it was a lot of fun! "You can write on any topic," they told me. 'Anything?' I wondered, 'That's soooo broad... what will I... *eyes glance at the calendar*'
BOOM. Christmas. Done. 

I was told it had to be one page. Only one. One? It's hard to be that succinct about MY FAVORITE TOPIC but I tried. I could probably write an encyclopedia about my family's Christmas, but I just squeaked it in (leaving out SO MANY beautiful anecdotes and details!). One page it is. 

Not all of our students are familiar with the Western idea of Christmas and they have varying levels of English vocabulary, so I *tried* to keep that in mind. I can get carried away with details and fun words like pontificate (oh, the irony, right?). Alas...

Here's what I wrote! 

A Perciful Family Christmas
by Zara Perciful 

If you have ever talked to me during November or December, you will know that Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday! I started decorating my apartment in October. I get super excited about all things Christmas. I listen to Christmas music, I hang twinkling lights, and I drink mint mochas (one of my Christmas traditions) as often as I can.

Back at home, my family always celebrates Christmas together. My mom makes cranberry bread for breakfast on Christmas morning. We open presents from our parents, we give gifts to our siblings, and of course we open our Christmas stockings! Christmas stockings are a tradition where the parents leave small gifts for their children in a large sock-shaped bag, but we pretend that the gifts were left by Santa Claus.

Around lunchtime, the extended family gathers together at my grandparents’ home. The atmosphere is loud and lively because there are 30 people or more, with many children and adults. Imagine walking in the front door: I see the front staircase decorated with Christmas greenery and lights, I see my cousins running in the hallway and thundering up the stairs, I see piles of gifts strategically placed. Mountains of crumpled wrapping paper lie in boxes and trash bags, glitter and ribbons are strewn about.

We snack all afternoon, exchange gifts with extended family, then eat a big Christmas dinner in the dining room with food like turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green beans, and this weird carrot-orange-jello-thing that my aunt always makes. We have pumpkin pie or pecan pie for desert. After dinner, we play games or watch my cousins play the guitar and sing. It’s a fantastic day of laughing and talking, shouting, watching football, and a hundred other things. As the song goes, “tis the season to be jolly!” The Perciful family does Christmas well.

As much fun as it is to celebrate with family as a Western cultural holiday, Christmas really brings the most joy to those for whom Christ is Savior. People who have accepted the grace that God offers can be more delighted by the birth of Christ at Christmas than anyone who has yet to receive that grace can understand. I wish grace and peace to you this Christmas, wherever you are! Merry Christmas!

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