The Gift of a Christmas Shave…

In the movie The Grinch Who Stole Christmas there is a scene in Whoville where the mayor of the town awards the Holiday Cheermeister with the "Gift of the Christmas Shave." If you know the film, you know that this gift didn't go over well with the Grinch! Not very well at all.  It got me to thinking today, thinking about missed opportunities.

I remember standing and talking with my dad in the mornings while he shaved after he got out of the shower. Many of you probably have a similar memory too, but mine's a little different, just because my dad was a dairy farmer… meaning that he was taking a shower after he had gone to work, rather than before, and it was still probably only 8:30 in the morning.

It was mesmerizing really, to watch dad shave. He would put what looked to me like cool whip on his face, then when he scraped it off, and banged his razor on the sink… clack, clack, clack… all the little black hairs would come off with it. Sometimes, he would put that cool whip stuff on my face too, (which you should never eat by the way), then get me a spoon from the kitchen to clean it all off with. Little by little, even though I wasn't cognizant of it... my dad was teaching me how to care for my own hygiene as I grew. Teaching me a life skill that would be part of an overall transition towards becoming an adult someday.

Learning how to shave wasn't the only skill Dad taught me. No, my parents would give me thousands of lessons along the way towards adulthood… they weren't always formal, and they weren't always welcomed, but they were always needed. These were the tools I would require to navigate life on my own!

As Christian parents, Mom and Dad also took the time to be certain I knew and loved Jesus, knew and loved God's Word, and knew and loved Christ's Church. I was required to have a personal devotional time, expected to prioritize church functions, encouraged to participate in adult conversations about faith and works.  

This Christmas, perhaps you can give the "Gift of a Christmas Shave" to the young person in your life looking up to you for guidance. Start off small when they are little. Tell them about the baby in the manger, and the shepherds in the fields. Push them to explore the Christmas story for themselves a bit as they grow older, by asking them to read and cross-reference the Christmas narrative between separate Gospel authors. Challenge them as they mature to wrestle through the concept of Emmanuel, God with us and come to a conclusion for what it means for their daily walk in the Lord.

Don't miss these moments. Don't waste an opportunity. You only get one chance to raise your children. You only get a decade or so of Christmases together. Why don't you make the most of it!

- Pastor Milo



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