Christmas Eve three years ago, as my parents and I sipped hot cocoa and watched It’s a Wonderful Life, my brother sat in the bedroom we were sharing, inches away from his laptop screen with earphones blocking out the outside world. During commercials I knocked on the door and asked him to join us, but I was met with instructions to go away. I eventually fell asleep on the couch (right before George Bailey’s happy ending, of course) while my brother still typed away in the next room.
This might sound like a pretty typical, albeit depressing, evening in a home with a high school boy, but what we found the next morning was anything but typical. What my brother was actually doing while the rest of us ate tiny marshmallows was painstakingly tweaking levels, adjusting various audio tracks, and sleepily muttering words into a recording microphone. In other words, my brother was finishing his Christmas present to me and my parents, a CD of music recorded by him and his close friends.
He had chosen one song to represent each of us, learned the various guitar chords, tambourine beats, and vocals to these three songs, then tried his hand at sound mixing to put them all together in beautiful ways. He then recorded a personal message unique to each CD filled with his affirmation, blessing, and challenge for us.
My parents and I were astounded and moved. To this day, it is the best Christmas present I have received, and one of my most treasured possessions. Sometimes when I’m particularly down, I listen to the song he recorded for me (Blackbird by The Beatles) and I feel his love in the music.
This is just one story of a person choosing Christmas celebrations that are a bit conspiratorial. Instead of showing his love through money, my brother chose to channel his individual passion and talent into something meaningful to each of us. This took time and immense effort, but more than that it took an intimate knowledge of who his gift was for. This intimacy is a perfect picture of what a conspiratorial Christmas looks like. Be watching our blog for more stories from members of our Dayspring family of how they do Christmas different—and tell us your own story!