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A Christmas Story

December 19, 2008 1 comment

I love this time of year. The air is crisp and the Christmas lights are twinkling. There is just something about this season. It takes me back to a simpler time…

We drove through the unfamiliar neighborhood. The houses were all decorated elaborately. The warm air was blowing out of the vent across the windshield carrying the sweet scent of antifreeze. It was really cold outside. The street and lawn were covered with a fine layer of snow and the flakes were continuing to come down. Strange that it had not been snowing on my block. It did not snow often in the small town we lived in. What a wonderful treat this was.

“Okay, champ, there it is.” My dad seemed a bit excited – almost giddy as he pointed up the drive to one of the largest houses on the block. The lights were amazing. The property was ornately decorated with what had to be thousands of lights. Even though there was a lot going on it did not seem to be too much. It was really beautiful. We pulled up to the front gate and this rather odd looking little guy stepped out. My dad got out of the car and opened the door for me. I stepped out and examined the little man that had just received the car keys. He wasn’t much taller than I was. “How is he going to even reach the pedals?” I thought as we were ushered through the front gate and directed down a winding path towards the big house. The path wove back and forth, in and around, through the lit trees and other decorations. The falling snow glimmered as it fell against the multicolored lights. We passed some mechanical reindeer calmly rooting through the snow trying to get at the grass under it. At least, I think they were mechanical. I could have sworn that I caught two of them moving about out of the corner of my eye. We made it to the house and rang the doorbell. It played “Carol of the Bells” and almost immediately the door was opened by another diminutive man who asked for the invitation. My dad dug in his coat pocket and pulled out a small red and white card. All it had on it was my name. The little man took the card and welcomed us into the foyer. The outside of the house belied the enormity of the inside. And was it decked out. There was garland and ribbon all around. Lights were flashing and the whole place smelled like freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate.

Around the corner came a lady that reminded me much of my grandmother. She was a large woman with a very warm and friendly face. She smelled a bit like gingerbread, I think. The small man handed her the card. “We have been waiting for you,” she said with a smile. “Follow me.” We walked down a long hallway lined with doors. Most were closed but I did glimpse what looked like an office or study. In it was an enormous desk stacked with papers and bags and bags of what looked to be letters. I couldn’t see much more than that. The kindly lady motioned us to enter a large room at the end of the hall. As I entered, I noticed other kids, nine of them, sitting around a large chair. They seemed as confused as I was. Nervous excitement filled the air. Suddenly, a door on the other side of the room opened and a rather large red-cheeked man walked in. He had a great big smile on his face and made his way to the large chair.

“That looks like…”

“Go have a seat, dear. It is time for the story. And you,” she said looking at my dad, “can join the other parents in the kitchen. We have all kinds of goodies for you in there,” the kindly old woman said as they exited the room.

I sat down with the others and caught the gaze of the man seated in the large chair. He looked old and wisdom radiated in his eyes. There was something about this guy. He commanded respect but his persona was very warm and inviting. He seemed genuinely interested in each kid – somehow seeming to know him or her personally.

He started speaking. “Merry Christmas, boys and girls. You have been invited here to hear a very special story. It is a remarkable story of love.”

He told a story of a woman, a carpenter, an angel and a great promise. A long journey and no place to stay except for a stable filled with hay. The woman gave birth to a very special child and laid him in a manger. There were more angels, a star and shepherds and wise men. And joy. Great joy that night.

“Any questions or comments,” he asked as he finished. Everyone sat there quietly. “That is the greatest story ever told. I wanted you to hear the real reason for Christmas. It is not about getting presents or toys. Well, I suppose it is about getting one present – the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A little blonde-headed girl held up her hand. “What happened after that to the baby named Jesus,” she asked.

“Well, the story that starts at His birth, as remarkable as that is, only gets better from there. You see, God loves us so much that He gave His only son for us. That is the reason for Christmas. We have turned it into something else but you, boys and girls, need to always remember the real reason. And we all should tell others.”

“But what happened to the baby Jesus,” she asked again.

“He grew up, did many wonderful things, and proved to everyone that He loved us. But, Grace, that is a story for another time. “

The matron of the house escorted the parents back into the room. It was time to go. The old man greeted each parent as they retrieved their children.

“Max, it is good to see you again. I remember when you came for your story time and your father and his father,” he said. My dad looked at him with eyes of wonder and as we said our goodbyes the man looked at me and said, “Always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. It is all about him. Young man,” he said with a chuckle, “I will see you again. I am sure of it. Probably in about thirty years or so.”

I wondered how he could know that. The little man delivered our car and when he got in dad didn’t even have to move the seat back. The drive back was quiet as I thought about that story and everything that had happened. As we turned into our neighborhood, I noticed the snow had stopped and the streets and lawns were absolutely dry.

We hope that your family remembers the true reason for Christmas this year. It is so easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” that so easily takes control at Christmas. Have a blessed Christmas. As the wise old man said, it is all about Jesus.

Merry Christmas from the Dorseys

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Categories: Humor, Religion

My kind of thinking…

I have a quote for the day on my home page and the following quote came up today. What a great way to look at life as half full. I wish I thought in these terms more often.

 

I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.
  – Mitch Hedberg

Categories: Humor

Safest place to be…

January 15, 2008 Leave a comment

The National Weather service just released new guidelines for emergency procedures should a tornado be spotted in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. All residents are instructed to go immediately to Texas Stadium. They will be safe there because the likelihood of a touchdown there is very small. These plans may be updated at sometime in the future.

Many fans are still reeling after the loss this past weekend. Whatever! I am such a fair-weather fan. I am surprised that I let myself get so emotionally involved as I did. Before the game I told Rhonda that I thought the Cowboys would lose. Just a feeling. I like Romo but his inexperience was definitely showing. Things could have gone better for them. There were so many dropped passes, missed blocks and tackles, and just a general loss of focus. Now, it is sad. I don’t really care about the Superbowl. Last year I was indifferent but watched hoping to see some great commercials. Even the commercials let me down. We will be arriving back into town from our cruise on the day of the Superbowl. I guess I won’t be in such a hurry to get back.

Categories: Humor, Sports

Christmas Cardless

December 13, 2007 Leave a comment

One of things I remember growing up was the little wooden tree that held the Christmas cards. As they would come in my mother would add them to that card holder. By the time it was ready to be put back in it’s box there were a lot of cards stuck in the small slits. It was as much of a tradition as Santa Claus. My mom would send out cards and we would receive cards. In fact, I follow the same system that my mom employed, albeit more high tech. “You should always put back enough cards to send to someone that you didn’t think to send to but you receive from,” she would say. Those words have served me well, I guess. I don’t know how necessary that is but I guess it is polite. So the tradition continues, sort of.

When I bought cards this year, I qualified to get a free card holder. This one isn’t a small wooden Christmas tree but a large ring with places to attach cards to it making it look like a wreath. It is okay. Better than just putting the cards in a basket or in a stack on the mantle. Problem is, with twelve days until Christmas, I don’t have very many cards. It seems with every year the cards received are fewer and fewer. Is this a tradition that has run its course? I sent out almost 70 cards this Christmas. Am I living in the past? Does anyone really care about that anymore?

I guess my tradition (and the high-tech part) is my annual Christmas letter. It is difficult to write it considering how boring our lives are. It may be even more difficult to read it. I guess it is kinda presumptuous to think that anyone would actually like to read those things. It is just that we don’t really talk to people throughout the year and it is a way for people to see the boys pictures and to find out what is going on with us. They seem to say the same things over and over. Will I still do it after the boys leave? I don’t know. I realize that some people probably roll their eyes and line the bird cage with it. That’s okay. The important thing is that they were remembered at this special time of the year. Everyone can be thankful for that. Have a great Christmas everyone. I am going to check the mail box.

Categories: Family, Humor

Top 10 Reasons Why I Procrastinate

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Categories: Humor