Remember The Child

In just a few days . . . Thursday, the 25th of December . . . the entire Christian world will stop and mark the Beginning of what the world has come to call Christianity.

It will not matter what Belief System you adhere to, from Catholicism, the oldest, to one who might have proclaimed themselves only yesterday, every one will pause and bless the same Child and the same Event.

Yes, it matters not how we debate other points of our Beliefs, we all gaze at the humble Manger, where the Heavens above The Child, Mary and Joseph opened and gleamed with Lights never seen before, and Angels sang songs of Praise.

Just for a moment, let us all stop whatever we are doing. Pause. Take a deep breath. Close our eyes. Remember The Child. The Child who changed the world. The Child who still changes you, me and the world, if we but remember and allow our hearts to hear.

Christ Is Born. And continues to be Born within our hearts as we put aside the clutter we’ve allowed to gather about that Day.

What else is needed? What else is there to do? What else is there to say?

Christ Is Born. Know. Rejoice, and Be Glad.

Christmas Lights

Blessed Beads of Light, in the 1940 Sky

Whenever I hear or read of how the skies gleamed brilliantly  the night of the First Christmas,  I also recall how the black skies lit up for me  over 70 years ago during the 1940 Holy Season. Oh, so different but, I never think of The One, without the other.

I was flying home from Denver. It was an ebony-black night and as we flew high over the mountains, the Pilot told us we were soaring over a sight seldom seen, and that he was shutting off all lights so we could appreciate the beauty,

And he jokingly added, “It looks as if God has put up His Christmas decorations, too.”

And so, with every light OFF, and no stars shining, there in the inky-black that surrounded us I couldn’t even see my own hands. But I did see lights below, or with lack of good orientation from the sudden blackness, were those lights above? But either way, somewhere out there, were three or four clusters of lights separated by long, long, stretches of utter blackness, except for a broken string of lights that seemed to be trying to hold them together.

It looked to me, as if some woman might have carelessly dropped a long string of beads, letting them  break, curl, twist,  and gather in bunches as they lay where they fell.

Or Christmas decorations strung and awaiting our touch, or, and my mind drifted to how Saint Luke told  of when the sky was  lit with lights, at the time of Jesus’s birth.

But what we saw,  was breath-taking. It was an utterly black world where delicate strings of light, drifted between groups of lights, and, dis-oriented in the sudden utter blackness, I really couldn’t be certain whether I was looking UP or if the lights were DOWN. Even the plane seemed to be quietly resting on a black cushion. And, as I recall that night, it still seems as though the plane, people, the entire scene was immovably locked in that one marvelous moment.

And the Pilot, like a Voice from a Void, told that the northern lights (North? South?, West? East? Up? Down?). were the City of Ogden, Ogden? What did that City have to do with such deep blackness . . . but the pilot continued that Salt Lake City formed the largest cluster, and far away at the end of an almost fading string of lights was the City of Provo

But, no matter.  What we saw was a black void, with scattered lights that were gently connected by a thin string of lights, that was interrupted just once by a few lights off to one side that, we were told, was The Murray Smelter.

Not a one of us could know that the possibility of such a view would be a tale met with disbelief and wonder in but a few years.

For me, I doubt if that scene can ever again be duplicated any place in the entire world, for every corner of our entire world now has people who, 24 hours every day and night, need and have electricity, well lit cities and  highways.  And so I wonder, “Did it really happen?” And yes, believe it or not,  it did, and, I was one of a dozen or so on that small plane from Denver, who saw it..

It is so easily explained for the world was just beginning to see the end of the 1930’s Great Depression, and the ‘string of a few pale lights’  were cars on State Road No. 89 which connected Utah cities, and the lights were few because few people had any reason to drive those roads in the middle of a night.

People ate their meals at home, and so there were no hundreds of fast-food eateries, cafes,  rest stops,  bars or motels  along the roads.  There were  few movie houses, no bowling alleys, or  any other places that needed lights at night.

World War II was the catalyst that changed our world with people,  who were  soon working both night and day, depending on cafes or drive-ins for meals, and before no more than a few years, not only our vallies would be bright with lights, but rhe same could be said for the whole world.

And each Christmas as I meditate upon that brightly lit sky of 2,000 years ago,  at the same time, I remember that 1940 Christmas night when I saw our  black world beginning to come alive with 24-7 lights. And, though it  happened over 70 years ago, its beauty remains part of the Christmas Holiday for me.

And I hope yours is a Blessed One with your own Blessed Memories.

Here Comes Christmas

The Kid

 The Wise Guys tell me Christmas is kid Stuff

And just maybe they got something there

Two thousand years ago

Three Wise Guys

chased a Star across a whole continent to bring

Frankincense and Myrhh to a Kid

Who was born in a manager with an idea in His head

And today

As the bombs crash and there is terror over the world

The real Wise Guys know that we all must

Again go chasing Stars

In the hopes that we can get back some of that

Long ago Kid Stuff

That was born two thousand years ago.

Frank Horne, 1942

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Well almost, but now Thanksgiving is over we can talk of Christmas . . .

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was sleeping, especially my spouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with screws. (If you can’t find the nails, what else do you use?) The children were restless, awake in their beds, while visions of spanking them danced in our heads.

I worked in my bathrobe. My husband, in jeans, had gone down to the den with directions and dreams to assemble a bike that came in small pieces with deflated tires and fenders with creases.

Soon down in the den there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my task to see what was the matter. Away to my husband I flew like a flash, he was shuffling through cardboard, his actions were rash.

The bike on the rug by this flustered Dad soon gave me a hint as to why he was mad. He needed a kick stand. It had to be near.

I shuffled some papers, he saw it appear! We twisted the screws; we were lively and quick, and soon knew assembly would be quite a trick. Faster than eagles in flight all the pieces were found, as he whistled and shouted for parts all around.

“Now socket! Now pedal! Now tires! Now brakes! On handles ! On kickstand ! On horn! Oh . . . but wait!” In the top of the toolbox, he fumbled around. “I need two more screws!” he said with a frown.

And like all good parents, determined to please when they meet with an obstacle late Christmas Eve, we shouted and yelled some complaints to each other. There was never more frustrated father and mother.

And then, in a panic, we heard on the stairs the prancing and hopping of four little feet! I opened the door and was turning around, when kids burst from the hall with a leap and a bound.

They were dressed all in flannel, from their necks to their knees, and their night gowns, were soiled with sugar and cheese.

Excuses poured forth from each pair of lips, and they stood in defiance with hands on their hips. Their eyes were wide open, and each little child jumped when I yelled with a voice hardly mild. They were frightened but cute, though much bigger than elves  but with a. wink of an eye and a pat on the head soon let them catch on they had nothing to dread.

They saw not a thing but went straight to their beds, and we finished the bike and put bows on the sleds.

Then wheeling the bike to the tree, and out of sight, my hubby announced we should call it a night. He rose to his feet,  sprang to his bed, and to the clock gave a whistle, for the time had flown by like a large Titon missile.

But I heard him exclaim as he turned out the light, “Merry Christmas to all, and for you, my dear? Next year ?  ? ? , NO BIKES.”



(Apologies to original author P.R. Van Buskirk 1985)