A Baby for Christmas

A baby for Christmas … one of my favorite Christmas stories but the last thing our family had in mind that Christmas morning. My younger brother, two sisters, and I waited anxiously just inside the door to our parents’ bedroom until our sleepy dad rolled over and smiled. “Okay,” he said.closeup of a decorated Christmas tree

Our Race to Christmas Wonderland

We scrambled downstairs to see what wonders waited under the Christmas tree. We halted at the foot of the stairs in awe. The living room had been transformed. Wreaths glowed in frosty windows. Instead of an empty manger, Mary and Joseph watched over Baby Jesus resting in the Christmas creche. The tree glistened from the crown of lights circling its golden tree stand to the treetop angel. A wonder of lights, ornaments, and shimmering tinsel filled our eyes. And yes! Oh, yes! Beneath its fragrant branches lay neatly stacked mounds of gifts.

Without a glance at the bowls of candy and nuts on the coffee table, we dashed to discover what our presents might hold. I knelt at my place with breathless excitement. Four of my dolls from previous years wore new outfits. A coloring book beckoned. I opened a box of crayons to smell its waxy freshness and touch the unblunted tips before putting them aside. I picked up and put down a game I would play with my brother and sisters later.

My New Doll and Daring Plan

Then I saw her! My new doll. Amid the glow of lights and the exclamations of the others over their own treasures, I took that life-sized baby doll into my arms and heart, ardently wishing she were a real live baby of my own.

In the days that followed, my desire grew. My nine-year-old heart had no clue about a possible uproar the sudden appearance of a baby in our home might cause among our neighbors and the town authorities.

Besides, I had a plan.

Mom was busy boxing up the Christmas decorations when I approached her. “If I pray,” I asked her, “will God give me anything I want?”

“Yes, dear,” she said as she continued her projects. “But only if it’s good for you. If it’s not, he won’t because he loves you and knows what’s best.”

No doubt, Mom thought this was just one of those curious questions a child might ask. Anyway, she didn’t ask “why,” and I didn’t offer any explanation.

Instead, I knelt beside my bed each day, placed the doll before me, and asked the Lord to turn it into “a real live baby of my own.” I never doubted that he could, but the doll remained a doll. After three months, I decided that, for some reason I couldn’t understand, it must not be good for me. I went on to the other things in my nine-year-old life.photo of infant boy

God Does Answer Prayer!

In October, my tenth birthday rolled around, and then another Christmas approached. This one with a special excitement. Mom was going to have a baby any day. Three days later, my brother Paul was born. When Mom and Dad brought him home, Dad placed the soft bundle in my arms. “Here is your baby,” he said.

Surely, I thought as I gazed into the infant’s sweet face, a more beautiful baby could not be found in all the world. From that moment and in my heart, he became my baby.

God had answered the prayers of my nine-year-old heart, not as I had envisioned, but in the best way possible, with a baby for Christmas.

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