A Piñata Kind of Christmas

December 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Hally Franz –

We were celebrating in the home that my 91-year-old grandmother affectionately refers to as “The Big House.” The year was 1978, and, by today’s standards, there was nothing big about it.

I’d begun Spanish that year and wanted to share my new-found cultural savvy, so my sister and I made a piñata for our Christmas Day celebration. Our piñata was fashioned into human form, but his angular build was more like that of a robot. His torso was constructed of a boot box, his head a smaller boxy version and his appendages wrapping paper rolls. Simply decorated, what “Roboto” lacked in flash and style, he made up for in strength and endurance.

The youngest-to-oldest gifting procedure typically started right after dinner, but this year Roboto would precede the usual festivities. Once our clan of 16 was strategically positioned and, consequently, pinned in, around the perimeter of the family room (no bathroom breaks allowed), we were ready for Roboto.

My cousins, sister and I took turns batting our Latino guest, now suspended mid-air by a rod.   After Roboto took several blows unscathed, we put more muscle into it. As we whacked Roboto, he whirled across the room, lunging at Great Aunts Iva and Ruby. They yelped out, took cover and dropped down at the ends of the sofa.

Roboto’s flat, and evidently, well toned, midsection was struck repeatedly. He remained silent, and we determined to break him and get the bounty of treats. Violent shouts and unabashed laughter filled the room; it was getting ugly. My uncle managed to extract himself from the circle, returning moments later with shotgun in hand, prepared to do the unthinkable! Thankfully, Roboto soon broke without gunfire. A modest candy sampling landed on the floor, certainly not a haul worthy of this effort.

The holidays can be like our piñata experience. Life gets so busy we feel we’re being batted from one event to the next, head spinning with no time to reflect on the real gift of Christmas. For some, experiencing grief or difficult circumstances, this time of year can be like a punch in the gut. And, for others, the holiday hype just doesn’t live up to the reality when the season is over.

Our holiday challenge… Strive for calm rather than chaos, remember the eternal gift of Christ Jesus, keep others in our prayers and expect that earthly celebrations may never measure up.

PRAYER: Almighty God, guide me through the Christmas season so that I navigate the busyness of the holidays, remembering You and others in my heart and activities.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14 KJV).

Today’s devotion is by Hally Franz. Hally is a former teacher and high school guidance counselor, turned homemaker. She enjoys volunteering at her children’s school, teaching Bible classes at her church, leading projects in 4-H, writing, reading, scrapbooking and rousing (though, sometimes, not pretty) zumba classes.

About Hally Franz

Hally Franz writes about her observations on family and faith, parenting and people. She is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. Hally and husband Tim will celebrate twenty years of marriage this year, and have two teens. She is a 4-H leader and band mom, serves as her church secretary and as a Bible class teacher. Hally enjoys traveling with her family and participating in monthly book club meetings with her pals.


5 Responses to “A Piñata Kind of Christmas”
  1. Carin LeRoy says:

    The busyness of the season can certainly be a challenge. Thanks for sharing the reminder to strive for calm, not chaos, during this time of year.

    • Hally Franz says:

      Thanks you, Carin! Sometimes easier said than done, but the weeks go so fast, it’s important to try to savor this special time of year.

  2. Hally, your devotional “works” on so many levels! I love the comedic opening, with descriptions that made me feel like I was right there in that pinata circle. I anticipated the candy explosion and wilted when it didn’t happen at the expected time. Then my heart raced at the thought of a gun, and surged to know a hard bop of the bat left Roboto bullet-free. You built up a sense of anticipation of a large reward for the effort. Not so. Big work. Tiny reward.

    And what a great leap to say that’s so like the hustle bustle of Christmas! So like us to make more of a to-do about the unnecessaries of the season, and then setting ourselves up for failure and let-down. Thank you for the wise words to strive for calmness this Christmas.

    Peace on Earth, good will toward men (and Roboto!).

  3. Hally Franz says:

    Thanks so much for your generousity, Kathy! That event is one of my fondest memories. I’m glad God helped me use it for a more meaningful message.

  4. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Terrific story, Hally! You’ve put a good challenge to us. Calm, not chaos.

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