Mary Jane and I had a lovely dinner with our friends, Jim and Joan, last evening.
As we spoke of many things, both great and small, we talked of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in Europe…and I plan on returning one day.
Today, I received an email from a shop in Edinburgh, that wished me a Happy Christmas and had a photo of a little Yarn Angel that the owner of the shop had picked up on a walk in Edinburgh. A note on the Yarn Angel said that it was free for the taking.
Simply reading the email and seeing the angel…gave me a warm feeling and reminded me that Christmas is about the greatest of gifts and the simplest of gifts.
Of course the gift of the Christ Child is magnificent and Christmas Story engages both the wise men and the shepherds and the Star of Bethlehem.
All of this happens at the same time that there was no room for Mary and Joseph and the soon to be born, Jesus, in the inn…and so the ‘Desire of the Ages’ was born in a common manger in a stall that was for animals and the glory and the splendor of the birth was portrayed in the beauty of simplicity.
Each year I seek for a Christmas Moment…something that brings the meaning of the Season into my heart in a personal and significant manner.
I have had the good fortune to travel to many places in our world and enjoyed the experiences very much.
However, often the quietest of gestures and actions and gifts are where the real meaning of Christmas can be found.
I can vividly remember traveling to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for Christmas on several occasions. Our friends, Steve and Faye wold join us and we would rent a condo in the mountains.
I recall, just before midnight on Christmas, standing on the balcony of our condo and looking out at the mountains and the stars and moon shinning down…and knowing…Christmas.
There was a time, many years ago, when I attended the annual Christmas movie at the Orpheum Theatre in Eldorado, Illinois and the Lion’s Club gave each child a large Christmas basket filled with all types of delights. I wondered why these people that I did not know…gave me such a wonderful gift?
For many years the Service Employees International Union #316 invited me to the annual Christmas Luncheon. As I would walk from table to table greeting the Union Members and their families…I felt a warmth and genuineness of support that strengthened me long into the New Year.
When I see my son’s faces lit up with joy on Christmas morning and my Wife’s joy and delight in handing out the gifts…I think of how God has been gracious to us.
When we sing Silent Night and hold our candles in the darkened church…I pray for the greatest gift…Peace On Earth.
You know, Charlie Brown and Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang had the right idea regarding the Little Christmas Tree…all it needed was love.