So, This is Christmas: This time of year, Christmas becomes a focus of attention. Sometimes, we hear about the scrooges out there. Sometimes we hear about the sad stories. Other times, we hear of heartlifting stories of people serving their fellow man, giving others a hand or stories of families making long overdue reunions. It used to be heard more often on public airwaves, but still we do hear the Christmas story of which the entire holiday has been based. Oh….there are the fights about communities and their “holiday parades” and the politically correct argument about saying “happy holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas,” or the annual fight about public displays. But, still the majority of Americans accept the basis of the holiday.
Now, some naysayers like to get to the root of the holiday saying that Christmas was really derived from pagan rituals and the ancient celebration of Winter. And you know what? There is some truth to that. If you read the biblical account of the birth of Jesus, you also find that the shepherds were in their fields tending their sheep, which suggests that it was not winter. So, it seems likely that the actual birth was not on December 25th, but since no one knows exactly when the birth occured, the early Church determined that December 25th was a good time. Perhaps it was an effort by the early Church to quash the pagan winter celebrations. But, to me, that is a poor excuse to dismiss the story of Christ’s birth as false. It is simply a history of the celebratory day.
Take a look at this.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Now, there is talk that this passage from Isaiah is flawed in that the Hebrew word used in the original text is “almah” and that literally means “young woman” and not “virgin.” However, the bible never refers to an “almah” in connection with a married woman and the bible is clear that an unmarried woman is to be a virgin. Therefore, the use of “virgin” as opposed to “young woman” is completely logical.
But, all of that is semantics. Let’s get to the bottom line. Ultimately, this comes down to Faith and I fully accept that my Faith is not necessarily that of others and there is no reason for people to call each other names. But, consider that the words from Isaiah were written some 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Some people are more likely to believe in the words of Nostradomus but not Isaiah even though it takes a little more imagination to create truths about the Frenchman.
As I can attest, things don’t always go the way we want them to go and we have set backs, obstacles and difficulties in life. Christmas time is not immune from that. For the past two years Snow White were in a bit of and unpleasant, unexpected circumstance. It was tough (especially the second year) but were thankful for what we had and for each other. We feel blessed with our circumstance whether it be tough times or the many friends we have, our families and the fond memories we have and the memories still left to make. Christmas is a time of love and hope for the future. Two years ago, there is no way that I could ever have imagined that we would be where are we are today. And yet, here we are. While I have many people to thank, I know that Providence was at work. Nothing lasts forever and you never know what happens when you try. Christmas is a time of gift giving. It is ultimately the story of the ultimate gift to all who will receive. I have found that, if I get out of the way and stop grabbing at gifts and instead let my heart be open to accept them and to give to others, then all of the issues and problems of our world suddenly aren’t so difficult. Everything is not perfect right now but for the first time in 12 years, I get to spend 4 days in a row with just my wife and my kitty cat, and that is a gift in itself. Snow White and I wish to extend to you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a blessed, happy new year.
Weather Bottom Line: You know, for the majority of the dozen or so years I’ve been in Louisville, we had a White Christmas, if one considers a White Christmas as being one with snow on the ground. Even if it has to snow on Christmas to fit the definition of the term methinks arose from the Bing Crosby movie and song, we had a number of those over the years. This year will be no exception regardless of how you look at it. I don’t think you get snowed in on Christmas Eve but several inches will provide an opportunity for a snow angel or a snowman and then on Christmas Day look for flurries or maybe a snow shower. Be careful on the roads and I’ll leave you with a weather Christmas story. Whenever it snows, Snow White and I like to go out stomping about in it at about 3 AM. We did that one time when there was about 10 inches. When we returned to our driveway, we noticed two snow angels had been made. By this time it was about 4 AM and we could not imagine who could have been out and about to make them. So, I looked for footprints that might give a clue. There were none. I have no idea how those two snow angels got on our driveway…but I bet that it was not Nostradamus.