|Bethlehem, Christmas Day, 1898*|
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. Luke 2:1 King James Version (KJV)From now until the 25th, expect a certain number of posts about Christmas. It's my favorite time of year and I cherish the many memories I have of Christmases past. I know that for all of us, our time on this Earth is limited.
2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death... Genesis 27:2 KJVWhich means to me that the number of Christmases left to us in this realm is finite. We don't know when our last Christmas in this life will come. My point is that we need to cherish our loved ones, our friends and those around us. One never knows when one has seen their last sunrise, their last sunset. But on to happier things.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. Luke 1:28-31 KJV
My anticipation of being with my Mom and brothers on Christmas Day will remind me of times past when we were all so young.
Early in the morning The Olde Vermonter would arise far too early and start agitating to get everyone up. I would drag my tired self out of bed and try to get him to settle down, The Musician would start to stir, Mom would get up and head to the kitchen.
Dad of course would grumble that it was "too early, you kids get back to bed!" We, of course, would not, the excitement was too much.
Yes, much of the excitement was about the gifts under the tree but it was more than that. Part of it was seeing the joy on my parents' faces as we tore into things. The sheer joy of spending this blessed morning together.
I also remember the early morning light, the sparkle of the tinsel covered tree with its glowing lights. Sometimes there would be snow falling outside. Not heavy but just enough to make the morning somehow calm and peaceful.
Later in the day, both pairs of grandparents would come over for Christmas dinner. Sometimes an uncle, aunt and cousins would stop by. I remember a house full of people, laughing, eating and telling stories.
My grandparents, my Dad and most of my uncles and aunts are gone now. Passed into the mystery which awaits us all someday. I mourn their passing, I celebrate their memories and the many beautiful Christmases we spent together.
A day meant to celebrate the birth of a child over 20 centuries ago...
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23 KJV
* This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.