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It was Christmas Eve. I was 12 and my sister, Maggie, was two years younger.  

We were more than ready for the door to the living room to be opened. It had been locked all day.  

The keyhole was stuffed with paper, so we couldn't peek in. Even the shades facing the porch were pulled all the way down. Mom and Dad made sure we would not be able to see what was waiting for us.   

Supper was over, the dishes washed, dried and put away. My sister and I asked if the door could be unlocked now and we could go in. Oh no! We still had to wait.  

Dad was going to read the second chapter of Luke, the story of Jesus Christ's birth. Dad was halfway through the chapter when my sister and I looked at each other across the table and started to giggle. We just couldn't stop - we did try.  

Dad never said a word. He just stopped reading and calmly waited for us to stop. When we finally stopped our laughing, Dad started to read again... at verse one.   

Dad always read this chapter on Christmas Eve to remind us Christmas was not just about giving and getting presents but that it was much more meaningful and important than that.   

Christmas Eve was the night God's Son was born of a virgin. Jesus knew His destiny was to die and pay the debt for our sins, so that we could be forgiven by accepting Him as our Savior. Now, He can be our companion throughout our life and then live with Him in heaven through all eternity.   

Praise and thanks to God for His ultimate gift of giving His one and only beloved Son for us. 

Smith writes from Avalon. 

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