My favorite Christmas memory is really a story of an unfortunate incident that happened twenty years ago and culminated in a confession about 5 years ago. It gets brought up every single Christmas (and many times in between). Here’s the story….
About twenty years ago, it was Christmas eve & little me was absolutely ecstatic that Santa would be visiting the next day. So ecstatic, in fact, that I decided to put on a little performance (for no one) in our living room. I had Christmas music blaring & was dancing all around the living room, on the couches, on the fireplace hearth, and I was, of course, utilizing several props to add value to the performance. What can I say? I was born an entertainer.
One of the props that I was using was the little Santa table that we put his cookies on every year. The base of the table had three not-so-sturdy legs, however, the finale took a turn for the worse when one of the little legs snapped right off due to the pressure of entertaining...or maybe due to the pressure of nine year old Ashley leaning all of her body weight on it. Immediately, I was panic stricken. No one was in the living room or kitchen (side note: where were all the adults?!) and I had to act quickly. I quickly picked up the leg & the table and somehow used the side of the couch to prop the table up and tried to make it look as though it was standing on its own three legs. I ran upstairs and began praying that I wouldn’t get caught. (This is not a joke. I remember kneeling by my bed praying that my parents would not know that it was me.)
Shortly thereafter, we are getting ready to leave for Christmas Eve service and my mom sees the table. She and my dad begin interrogating Kyle and I to figure out who it was that broke the table. I can distinctly remember my dad saying, “someone leaned the table against the couch, it didn’t just do that on its own. One of you had to have broken it.” I resolved that I would not give in. I did not want to chance the fact that I could potentially lose out on any Christmas gifts that were under that tree. On our way to church, my very wise & intuitive grandpa turned around and told me, “Ashley, if you were the one who broke it, you really need to confess and tell your parents.” To which I responded resolutely, “It was Kyle!” (Not my finest moment.) Grandpa had me pegged, but thankfully he was gracious enough not to press much further. The table was quickly forgotten about in all of the festivities and it wasn’t really discussed any more that I can remember. Every year as my dad would pull the little table from the attic, I would cringe as I would see the leg super glued back in place. However, I still didn’t confess. I couldn’t. I wasn’t quite sure if the statute of limitations had run out or not.
Fast forward about 15 years and my family was all sitting around watching football after a day of putting out all of the Christmas decorations. Suddenly, I felt the urge to confess what I had done. Maybe it was the fact that I had graduated college, was working a full time job, and knew there was no real threat of punishment if I were to confess, but regardless of the reason, I finally decided it was time to come clean. I started with, “There is something that I haven’t told you that has been weighing on me for years & I really need to tell you all.” My parents and brother looked at me with deep concern. They had absolutely no idea what I was about to tell them. They quickly encouraged me that they loved me and I could tell them anything. I then proceeded to tell them, “You know mom’s Santa table that mysteriously broke about 15 years ago? Well, I blamed Kyle, but it was me. I broke it while I was dancing around the living room.” To which my brother yelled, “I knew it!”
Having finally confessed to the crime, I felt a weight lifted off of me & we all died laughing for about 45 minutes and still laugh about to this day. Do I regret covering it up and framing my innocent brother for a crime he did not commit? Nope, not really. Sorry not sorry, Kyle. But with that said…
When I first set out to write this story, I really just wanted to share a funny memory with all of you and give you a little insight into my brother & I’s relationship. I had no intention to have it be an analogy or carry any deeper meaning. However, as I started writing it & reading back through it, I was just so struck by what a clear picture this story presents of how our hearts are bent towards sin & how desperately we want to hide that sin for fear of consequences. Would my parents have been mad? Definitely. Would there have been consequences? Probably. Would they have forgiven me? Absolutely and I would have enjoyed that Christmas more fully had I not had the guilt of what I had just done lingering over my head.
He already knows, let’s just confess and move out of sin & towards freedom.