Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Good News...

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 KJV
Which 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.


  1. Enjoyable and thought/memory provoking post Sarge. Many thumbs up!

    That combination of metaphysical wonder and the exquisite juxtaposition of receiving and giving, selfishness and selflessness. Midnight services with the gospel readings about the star and the wise men and the manger, the wonderful hymns, then the benediction and the mad rush home and mighty struggle to fall asleep with mind racing in anticipation of yet one more miracle...

    Later I stood many a Christmas watch with those thoughts and images keeping me company and reminding me that I was in the right place doing the right thing for the right reason.

    The blessings of the season are manifold and timeless.

    1. Later I stood many a Christmas watch with those thoughts and images keeping me company and reminding me that I was in the right place doing the right thing for the right reason.

      That right there brought a tear to my eye. You get it my brother in arms, you get it.

  2. Sitting alert at Osan, Christmas Eve. Trying to get a little rack time, looking like the stay-puft marshmellow man all dressed up in survival suit, flight suit, g-suit and flight boots. saying a little prayer that the Kim brothers wanted to be on Santa's good list by staying home tonight. Missing the wife and kids, but knowing that if I couldn't be with them, there was not place else I'd rather be. Just as PA said.

    1. Sitting alert at Osan, Christmas Eve.

      Wow, that reminds me of a couple of tales.

  3. Ahh, the memories. My ghosts of Christmas past are great ones. Excellent post, thank you!!

  4. Christmas '78 , first Christmas in the Army I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as the Officer of the Guard on the Kaserne so another married LT with kids could spend it with his family. I was relieved by another single LT from another company Christmas Night. This will be my 58th Christmas but I'll always remember that one as special. I echo the sentiments of my brothers in the Profession of Arms above.

    1. We troops always appreciated the guys who did that. Shows a willingness to go above and beyond.

      (That would have been my third Christmas in the Air Force, my first as a married man and my first in Korea. I have a story about that...)


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