Here comes Christmas! The goose is getting fat, the world is falling in love (not so much), carols are being sung, parents are stressed, everyone has secrets, and we are constantly being reminded to be of good cheer. For me, it will always be that magical time of year. The spirit of Christmas comes alive and I enjoy soaking it up and filling my heart with Christmas joy once again.
Although we have been in the middle of the worst pandemic in recent history, the great halls of merchandising seemed to have survived while the Mom & Pop businesses have struggled to make ends meet. One of my friends posted on Facebook that this holiday is becoming more like ‘Thanksgetting’ rather than Thanksgiving. I agree with that assessment. I didn’t notice as many people camped out this year for the bargains on Black Friday, but the “drive by and pick up” loading was in full swing. I would think this time of year a person would have more pressing things on their calendars than to camp out at a mall. Of course, my idea of camping out is being on the balcony of the La Mansion Hotel overlooking the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.
When I think about camping out I am reminded of the night so long ago when some shepherds were camped out on the hillside in Judea watching over their sheep. It was like most any other night; quiet and peaceful. They had no cell phones, iPads, or laptops; just their sheep, shepherd hooks and dogs. Can’t you just visualize them being half asleep, yawning and stretching, relishing the beautiful, quiet night when suddenly, out of nowhere, an angel stood next to them? I can imagine how fast they scrambled around trying to figure out what was happening. The darkness was gone and the angel’s light shined so brightly they had to shield their eyes. It took their breath away and they were absolutely scared to death. And in the quietness the angel spoke to them saying, “Do not be afraid for I bring you good tidings of great joy. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
By now they were probably wondering what was going to happen next, when suddenly a whole host of angels filled the sky. These weren’t just any angels; these angels were awe inspiring and began praising God and singing, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, goodwill toward men. For unto you is born this night in the City of David a savior who is Christ the Lord.” ….(from Luke 2:8-14)
You talk about camping out for a cause. They didn’t know it at the time, but there they were camped out to receive the most important message ever given to mankind. After they listened to the angels, they left immediately to go see for themselves, then they shared the good news with everyone they encountered.
I can just image these shepherds in later life as they sat around that same campfire, slapping their knees as they told their grandchildren about the angels singing and how excited they were to see the new born Christ child.
I hope we aren’t too busy camping out in our small worlds for mundane gifts this year that we fail to recognize this as the season of “Thanksgifting;” a time to share a token of yourself with others. It doesn’t take long to find someone who needs help these days. It could even be your neighbor.
“Christmas is a coming; the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat; If you haven’t got a penny then a ha-penny will do; if you haven’t got a ha-penny then God Bless You!
Email Betty Heath at [email protected]