December 9th

The first Christmas Story:

“For Unto God a Child is born.” He would be named Jesus and they wrapped him in a swaddling clothes and lied him in a manager.

I remember as a child I knew the story of the birth of Christ long before I understood Santa Claus.

Customs were different growing up then.

First came religion:
Second Came Family:

Third Came Work:

You lived in that order of priorities and everything else fell into place.

However without the Nativity scene, the song ” A Way in a Manger” and Christmas Pageants including Christmas eve services we would not have had a Christmas Celebration.

I learned to set up my mother’s nativity set every year with love and care. We went around town visiting displays of Nativity Scenes. We could repeat the Christmas Story to anyone who wanted to take time to hear it.

We learned all the Christmas Carols as soon as we could talk. I was singing solo for the Church by age of six.

Christmas was celebrated with its reverence. The churches were all decorated. Everyone had new outfits for Christmas and everyone appeared for Christmas services.

When we had our Christmas pageant, after wards everyone would go into the recreation hall and sing Christmas carols while they enjoyed punch , coffee, tea, and cookies. Towards the end Jingle Bells would always be sung and in would come Santa Clause right on his cue of the Jungle Bells.

Then gifts would be given to the children as they all ran up to the center of the room and sat on the floor being very angelic and saying “Thank You Santa.” Then out the door he would go just as quickly as he had entered.

Gifts frequently included peanuts, and oranges and something religious. Sometimes they were coloring books, book markers, etc. It didn’t really matter. What mattered most was we had just celebrated the birthday of baby Jesus. What a wonderful feeling it gave us.

We were always able to separate religion and fictitious characters. We knew Santa was make-believe. We knew that a reindeer didn’t have a red blinking nose, nor did a snowman go dancing through the streets of town.

However, we didn’t questions all the what fores and whys of today’s youth. If that was what our parents wanted us to believe it was okay with us for after all it gave us the best of both worlds.

We were raised with religion following the golden rule” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

We were taught it was better to give than to receive. It is very true you reap what you sow. If you never give anything then you will never know the warmth of love and gratitude received.

Yet, through all the importance of parental guidance and lessons we needed to learn we were still allowed to learn them by being children and enjoying make-believe characters.

For after all Santa was the perfect example of the “Golden Rule.”
Rudolph was an example of it is better to give than receive as told in the story of the night he saved Christmas.

Frosty is the perfect example of sowing what you reap as demonstrated by the love over the years from children everywhere and how they wanted to save him when the son came out.

Yet the Love of Jesus remained in everyone’s heart knowing that when December ends it will return again in twelve months and we will always have it to look forward to.

So as we sing our Christmas Carols, Deck our Halls, Listen to Silver Bells, Watch Frosty and Rudolph on television and eat cookies and drink egg nog. Let us remember there is a lesson to be learned everywhere.

It isn’t the cost of the gift that counts. It is simply being remembered.

I am reminded of a true story that I am ashamed of:

One Christmas as my family and I prepared for dinner I learned I would have an extra visitor. He was an 84-year-old man. He had many health issues and his granddaughter was bringing him to celebrate Christmas with us. Learning the day before gave me no time for shopping. Being short on cash I gave my son ten dollars and said please get something for Grandpa so he has a gift.

When my son and his girlfriend then came to the house he told me we didn’t have time to get anything the stores closed early.

My heart dropped as I knew we would have this fine old gentleman who had been forgotten by all of his family except his granddaughter there with no gift.

I was sick. His granddaughter told me “Don’t worry about it he’s okay with it.” He’s just happy to come to dinner.”

Left with nothing else I could do at that point we went on with our traditions. I watched the gentleman as each person opened their gift and with each gift his face saddened more and more.

After that evening my son and I visited about the situation. I came to find out that  the same thing had happened the night before when she took him to her family’s house. It happened three nights in a row and not once was he given anything.

She wouldn’t allow me to send home plates of food with him as he was a hoarder and the food could sit there indefinitely.

She had told my son that it’s okay Christmas is for the young old people don’t mind. I was horrified.

No matter how old or how young you are you still want to be remembered.

Since that horrible day I have always had something on hand that I could give to an unexpected visitor.

After all we all want to be remembered. It’s not the size or the cost it’s the thought that counts.

Remember that this year with many homeless people they are realizing there is no one to care. So even if you can’t do much an extra Egg McMuffin or a cup of Hot Chocolate bought and handed to someone hungry is a wonderful gift.

Paying it forward by paying for the next persons meal in McDonald’s or burger king. It isn’t much but it says I CARE ABOUT YOU!

One of my Favorite Christmas Carols is what I will share today.

Joy to the World

Verse 1

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Verse 2

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Verse 3

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Verse 4

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Go out there this week and experience the Joy and Love around us. Pass the Joy on to everyone. Remember the true meaning of Christmas and the Joy and Love it has brought us.

Until tomorrow be filled with Joy , Love and Kindness. Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

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