Please help me welcome Fay Lamb to the blog today. She is guest posting about a Christmas memory that stands out in her mind, even after several years.
My husband is the type of father Brad Paisley sings
about in his song, “He Didn’t Have To Be.” Marc took my children, Corey and
Ethan, into his heart at first sight. Marc was an only child. His mother’s
reasoning is that he was such a good child she didn’t want to take the chance
that a second child wouldn’t be as wonderful. I used to wave the comment off,
but the truth is, she did raise a very good child to be a wonderful husband and
Not only did Marc accept my children as his own, his
mother and his father embraced them as grandchildren. From the first time they
met, my boys called the senior Lambs Grandma and Grandpa.
One of my favorite memories, and the lesson that
came with it, is of our first Christmas together. We were all excited about our
initial holiday season as a family.
On Christmas morning, the kids bounded from bed.
They were ready to get to Grandma’s. They couldn’t get dressed quickly enough.
Marc pulled into the driveway, and Ethan, our youngest, yelled, “Let me out of
Grandma claims she could hear him from her kitchen. She
met us as the door, blocking the kids’ view. She wore a Christmas apron and
wiped her hands on a dishtowel. The smell of turkey and dressing filled the
air. The boys tried to lean in around her to get a look. With a smile, she
backed out of the way.
The kids didn’t get too far. Why? They were blocked
by all of the packages, which started from beneath the tree in the corner of
the living room, filled the area, and spilled, literally, to the door.
“Wow,” a collective gasp came from not only the boys
but from me. I’d never seen anything like it. Yeah, as a kid, I’d always been
given whatever I wanted for Christmas, put even I knew a single mother had
limitations, and because my mother saved up all year for a special Christmas, I
I was overwhelmed. For me, Christmas wasn’t all
about the gifts—not that I didn’t love receiving them, but I’d never seen so
many packages in one place in my entire life.
Grandma cleared a spot and sat in the middle of the
floor. She held out package after package to each individual. Of course, the
boys received most of the gifts—so many in fact, that as they opened and
stacked them, we eventually could not see the children behind the mountains
As the packaged gifts dwindled, replaced by opened
boxes of toys, clothes, electronics, you name it, I couldn’t believe the
kindness that my new family had shown.
And then it happened…a little arm stretched up and
placed the last of his packages onto a large stack. With a heavy sigh flowing
from behind the boxes, a disappointed voice said, “Is that all?”
I was mortified. This wasn’t this child’s first
Christmas, and he’d never had another where he’d been given so much. I started
to reprimand him, but my in-laws’ laughter stopped me. The joy for them came in
the giving. The little boy (I won’t tell you which one) was being a typical
child—an ungrateful child at that moment—but nonetheless, he was an overwhelmed
kid with excitement ebbing from him.
As the family looks back on that Christmas, we
remember the anticipation and the excitement; I remember the halting
disappointment from someone who’d received so much, and for a fleeting moment,
it didn’t seem enough. That boy is now a grown man with children of his own,
and I know he has always been and will always be, grateful to his Grandma and
Grandpa Lamb—because they are the best kind of grandparents: the ones who
“didn’t have to be.” And whether the boys received one or one hundred gifts
that day, the best gift of all was the grandparental love—not shown through
gifts but through their acceptance.
When I look back at the memory, I am reminded how
much Christ has given to me: his acceptance of me and His sacrifice of leaving
Heaven with one destination in mind—the cross, where He gave His life for my
sins. And sometimes, I’m reminded that I’m much like my son had been on that
one Christmas morning. I receive gift after gift from Christ. I have received
the greatest gift in the world from Him, and yet, like an ungrateful child, I sometimes
sigh and ask, “Is that all?”
Fay Lamb offers
services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and
romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God
is always in the details. Because of Me,
her debut romantic suspense novel is available at all book retailers. Her
second release, Stalking Willow, is
currently available for pre-order through Write Integrity Press and will be
released in May 2013.
has served as secretary for American Christian Fiction Writer’s operating board
and as a moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. For her volunteer
efforts for ACFW, she received the Service Members Award in 2010.
and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations
of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons
and five grandchildren.
You can purchase hr book Because of Me on her website and watch the trailer.
You can pre-order her book Stalking Willow at Write Integrity Press .