By Ralphine Major

It was before the days of iPads, iPods, and smart phones.  Christmas 1964 was the Christmas before our dairy farmer father developed a life-changing heart condition.  I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but “piano” landed on my Christmas list.  Generally, our gifts were not that huge in size or price.  But a piano is not just any gift.  Our mother found a beautiful used piano at the home where she went on occasion to get a permanent wave or perm.  The cost was $500!  She was amazed at its unique waterfall keys—a style of ivory keys with rounded edges.  The piano was meant to be more of an investment in our lives, and one way to do that is through music.  At eleven years old, I began taking lessons.  As I progressed, there were many opportunities to play the piano at church and even weddings.

It was sad to hear on the news recently that many families will be foregoing Christmas gifts this year due to the economy.  Perhaps the giving of simpler handmade gifts or gifts of service will fill in the gap of more expensive gifts.  Instead of the usual presents wrapped in paper and bows, maybe the focus will be more on the greatest gift ever given to mankind:  the gift of God’s Son who was born in a manger, died on the cross, and rose from the grave so that we may have eternal life.

I still do not have an iPad; I do not have an iPod; and I do not have a smart phone.  I do, however, still have “the Christmas piano.”  Its waterfall keys can still sound out the beloved “Silent Night.”  Though old, it is still a treasured gift; and it can still share the joyful Christmas carols.

Words of Faith:  Familiar words from the Christmas story, Luke 2:7 (KJV)—And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”