When my oldest son was five years old, he received an electric train for Christmas. As he played with his new train, I asked him what Santa could possibly bring him next year that could be better than this wonderful train? He stopped playing with the train and looked at me and said, “I know exactly what Santa can bring me. . .I want a crucifix so that Jesus can be with me all year long.”
I was humbled and speechless.
I realized in that moment that my son was not focused on the materialism of Christmas like I was. Instead, in his innocent answer, it was evident that Christmas meant more to him than gifts, toys, Santa, and trains.
I told the story to a family member and she wrapped the crucifix that was given to her as a wedding gift and gave it to my son on that Christmas Day. As my son grew, so did his love for Christ. He became fond of the prayer books, scripture readings, Bible studies, and reflections I would read. He would ask if he too could read my books, studies, reflections, and prayers.
He read them daily while in high school, and sometimes I would hear him singing the Psalms in his room at night before bed.
My son is now a Catholic priest.
He was ordained in the summer of 2018. He has taught me so much about Jesus since that one Christmas Day.
He continues to cherish the crucifix given to him and now as a priest is humbled that he can bring Jesus to others. . .”all year long.”