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Scott Ott's Real Christmas Story: Peeking at Treasure Through the Knothole

Script for Scott Ott video above...

I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.

The magic of Christmas is how it's all so effortless. You wake up in the morning and the tree is surrounded by colorful boxes and bags and all you have to do is open the gift.

Well, it probably hasn't been like that for you for a few decades.

But remember?

We lived in a country house that was built in the 1700's. The wooden floorboards upstairs were thin and a bit creaky. Near one of two bedrooms shared by four boys was a small knothole in the floor. I don't recall if we punched the knot out, but it was gone, leaving a dime-sized hole in the floor through which one might peer into the living room below.

But you had to practically get down on your belly and press your cheek against the pine to see through the knothole. And more than one of us boys did that, more than once, especially on Christmas morning.

We four boys were brought up by our grandparents, Jim and Jessica McMaster, who rose before dawn every day--Pop to drive to Philadelphia to making steel railcars and Nan to do more difficult work, managing a household full of four boys.

But despite their clockwork pre-dawn rising habit, on Christmas morning, they pulled the covers up tight to their chins and they slept in. We pleaded and whined for them to arise, and take us to the gifts, because we couldn’t go without them. That’s the rule. But we practically had to roll them out of bed, such was the extent of their yuletide lassitude. They seemed oblivious to the fact that just below these pine boards lay unimaginable treasure for the taking. It was all so effortless. How could they be tired at a time such as this?

Making things look effortless is exhausting isn't it? They sacrificed time, and money, and sweat, and sleep, and busted knuckles to make Christmas effortless for us.

I have a Jewish friend who jokes about how easy it is to become a Christian--just believe in Jesus. Whereas, to become a Jew, he says, you need to strive to comply with a bunch of rules, and to get circumcised. The latter requirement, he says, really cuts down on the adult male recruiting pool.

But he's right--Christianity is effortless. All you have to do is be perfect. That's what Jesus said,"Be perfect, as your Heavenly father is perfect."