“Stuck” at Christmas

Visiting Santa the year we got the van stuck on Christmas day.
Visiting Santa the year we got the van stuck on Christmas day.

Nice job, mom and dad. Get me a Walkman for Christmas but no batteries.

It was the Christmas of 1990, and I was dying to listen to my Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson cassette tapes in my new Walkman. Unfortunately, we had no batteries in the house. I would have to wait.

I’ve never been a patient person. While I don’t remember throwing a fit or anything, I can imagine that I was pretty bummed at the thought of waiting until the next day to listen to my Walkman. Mom and dad agreed that we’d pile into the family van and drive around our small town until we found a gas station or something that was open.

We were unsuccessful, but as we drove around, mom and dad got to play with their new Christmas “toy”- a video camera. As dad drove us around, mom videoed the sights of Celina, Ohio: the lake, the courthouse, our church, our neighborhood, and then… my school.

West Elementary was obviously vacant. Not even the parking lots had been plowed, and they were covered in snow and ice. Still, we never imagined that our van would have any problems maneuvering through.

We were wrong.

As mom filmed my school through the passenger side window, all of a sudden we stopped.

Dad hit the gas. We went nowhere. The tires spun. We didn’t move.

We were stuck.

While we laugh about it now, at the time it wasn’t so funny. It wasn’t like we could pull out our cell phones and call someone- it was 1990. None of us had cell phones. Eventually, someone came through the parking lot. I don’t remember what the woman was doing there, but she was certainly our guardian angel. She had a bag of salt in her car, and we used it to get traction under the tires. We were rescued.

It wasn’t the last time I would feel “stuck” at Christmas. I actually think it’s quite easy to feel stuck this time of year. People are stuck working days they don’t want to work, stuck having to make huge dinners for events, stuck with all the gift buying, stuck with credit card bills, and sometimes even stuck being around family they don’t want to be around.

But just like the guardian angel who helped us get unstuck in the West Elementary parking lot, we’ve got a guardian angel to see us through times we feel stuck in life. Not just a guardian angel, but a Savior.

Christ was born to give us hope, and that’s what we celebrate at Christmas. Leading up to the birth of Jesus, God was quiet, and He didn’t speak to His people for hundreds of years. They were struggling and in desperate need of salvation. It came in the form of the Christ child.

Maybe you feel “stuck,” or that God is being too quiet in your life. Remember that He is always there for you, ready to help pull you out of any sticky situation. He sent His Son to save us, to “unstick” us from sin. So when things start feeling overwhelming this time of year, or when you feel stuck having to do so much, remember that you do have a Savior, and that this is the time of year we celebrate His birth.

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

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