Christmas Trek... Where We Have Gone Before!

Discussion in 'Holidays & Traditions' started by Joe Riley, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Blessings in Disguise
    by Mildred Morris

    Many years ago, when the twentieth century and I were young, my father was pastor of the small Baptist church in Eatonton, the central Georgia birthplace of Joel Chandler Harris, creator of the legendary "Uncle Remus." We loved the town and the people, but Papa's salary of a hundred dollars a month was stretched past the breaking point for our family. We would have found it even harder to get by if Papa's brother Robert hadn't always sent us a five hundred dollar check on the first of December. In fact, all year we looked forward to that extra income.

    A small part of that windfall was always allocated for each of us at Christmas, and for weeks we planned what we most wanted to buy with our share.

    My seventh Christmas is the one I remember best. Uncle Robert's letter arrived on schedule. In our usual ritual. Mama and we children gathered around Papa's chair in the kitchen as he opened the envelope. But this time all was not as usual. Papa caught his breath quickly, then read in a shaky voice: " 'Dear George, It seems to me such an impersonal thing just to mail you a check at Christmas, so I'm sending gifts this year which I hope you will all enjoy. Love, Robert.' "

    Papa hid the dismay he must have been feeling. Mama couldn't help crying. Papa had a childlike faith in God to provide for his needs; oftener than not, God's provision was Mama. It was her worried-but expert management that helped answer his prayers. Now even she was helpless.

    The box with Uncle Robert's gifts arrived. We left it sealed and carried it into the parlor. For days we talked about what our gifts might be, and on Christmas morning we opened the box with unbridled hopes.
    Alas, our hopes were quickly dashed! The expensive, handsome gifts each and all missed the mark. I was a tomboy and I craved a pair of bloomers - that daring garment introduced by the suffragettes. My gift was a doll. A sissy one. Pudgy young Rob, marbles champ of the fifth grade, got a telescope.
    Papa had set his heart on new baptismal boots; his gift was a leisure jacket-and that was sad, because leisure was the one thing he had less of than money.

    Mama's gift was a shocker. She wanted one of the new electric motors for her sewing machine so she wouldn't have to power it with her foot. Her gift was a big, gleaming, super-elegant alligator handbag. Even I could see that she would look strange with a bag like the one the banker's wife carried to church.
    When the last present had been opened we sat with the gifts in our laps and bright wrappings around us, too stunned to speak. Finally Papa rose to his feet.

    "Fannie, children," he said gently, "I'm sure we each feel that Uncle Robert hasn't understood our needs and wishes this Christmas, that he's disappointed us. But I'm afraid we are the ones who don't understand. As we all know, my brother is a bachelor. He's not blessed as we are with Mother and with one another at Christmas each year. I'm sure he must feel lonely at such a time, but he's gone shopping for us this year, tried to imagine what he would want for Christmas if he were a merry ten-year-old like Grace or a middle-aged parson like me. He has given from the heart.

    "If we find our gifts a little apart from our usual interests, we can also find that they open new doors." Leading the way, he slipped the brocaded jacket over his faded sweater. "My leisure coat will inspire me to take more time away from my busy schedule."

    He suggested to us one by one how the gifts could bring a positive change to our lives. "Mildred's doll can lead her, we hope, to an interest in the domestic arts she'll need when her tree-climbing days are over. Rob's telescope can lift his eyes out of the playground sand for a look at the stars now and then."
    And turning to Mama, "Fannie dear, I'm sure you'll find your magnificent bag a welcome touch of elegance in what I'm afraid is a pretty dreary wardrobe."
    Each of us began to see our gifts and their giver with fresh vision. Love came into the room as an almost visible presence.

    Mama began exploring the alligator bag and describing its wonders. "There's a green suede lining and a little amber comb. Even a secret pocket with a snap!" She reached in a finger and drew out a bit of paper. It was crisp, folded and green. It was the five hundred dollar check!
    IMG_20161224_0001.jpg
    Then Papa's voice rose in rich cadence, firm as if he'd been fully expecting a miracle. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" And we all joined in.

    It was the best of Christmases.
     
    #91
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Christmas at Last - by me

    …Christmas…at last…has come our way again. ……a fiery comet …paying its yearly visit. Come in …set a spell. Somewhere, under this pile of shiny stuff….Jesus, Mary and Joseph still tell their story.

    God still shows His Glory…. The holy fires still burn…our hearts still yearn…for Him. We still come… to worship Him. The world seems content to buy…and sell! ….to laugh and yell…amid the swell of sin.

    Over the din… the still-bright message of the angels, pierce the darkness still! At the center of its molten core…..Jesus still implores….come unto me!

    Empty your ‘bigger barns’ of Christmas things to pack away…..store Christmas in your heart to stay….and live it day by day. Don’t wait for the Christmas comet to come to you…ride it home …to God.
     
    #94
  5. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Our little church was not packed, last night, but the service was wonderful...full of peace and joy. Singing the "ancient" carols, amidst the lighted candles and praising poinsettias made for a Holy night, in deed! God blessed us, everyone!

    Our humble Christmas lights have pleased us so much, and we added two candelabra to the rear windows & left them all on overnight, for those who pass by at warp speed. Our solar light strings have worked their little hearts out, to shine their best! ....."you can't make bricks, without straw", they seem to whisper.

    Slept in til 7AM, had a raisin bagel, toasted with blackberry preserves & coffee. Soon we will go down and open gifts. Joy to the World, the Lord has come!
     
    #95
  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    "Set phasers on stun"!:eek:;)
     
    #96
  7. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Guitar Trek
    [​IMG]
     
    #97
    Shirley Martin and Nancy Hart like this.
  8. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Kitchen decoration idea for next year!:rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
     
    #98
  9. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8,549
    Likes Received:
    15,194
    Dish washing scrub pads

    scrubpads.jpg
     
    #99
    Shirley Martin and Joe Riley like this.
  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    Here's a final Christmas number, to throw everybody off, a bit!
     
    #100
    Shirley Martin and Nancy Hart like this.
  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
    It's getting close... another "Star-Trek" Christmas.....engage!
    [​IMG]
     
    #102
  13. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    12,432
    Likes Received:
    20,080
  14. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    43,285
    Likes Received:
    18,489
  15. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    43,285
    Likes Received:
    18,489

Share This Page