Start a new tradition


This Christmas let’s start a new tradition, one we can all do in 15 minutes, preferably on Christmas Eve. At 11:45 p.m. until midnight, after the kids are supposedly sleeping, gather all teens and adults and sit around your decorated tree, lights ablaze, no other lights. Sit quietly, no talking –no TV or phones, for 15 minutes — thinking, imagining, remembering past Christmases, dreaming. Contemplate Christmas for you! At midnight, share— if any wish. Yes, this can be done for 10 minutes at any desired time. If home alone, do the same. (I expect great things.) If this brings forth good stuff, repeat in 2019.

Christmas time in India, 2010. Emily Smithson traveled to Calcutta on business. She was 33 still single and tied up in her professional career. While touring the city she came across a makeshift orphanage. Inside she saw many needy children. The last child she saw was Mesha, a few months old and in terrible condition. Mesha was disfigured at birth, her face and body severely distorted, the only moving parts her breathing and eyes. Those eyes pierced Emily. That did it. Although Mesha is now in the States with Emily and two siblings, she cannot speak, eat normally or get around well. She is intellectually challenged and now nearly deaf. But, Mesha is Emily’s family’s Christmas gift….still.

Christmas story from Paul Harvey, good day! Brian Masters was a scrooge type. Not wanting to be a hypocrite he told his wife and kids to go to church on Christmas Eve without him. He could not buy into the fact that God would become a baby boy. While they were gone, a huge storm ensued. Before long, dozens of birds were flying into their large picture window and falling hurt or stunned. Brian raced outside and attempted to get the birds to go to his warm garage by opening that door up with lights on. He tried to shoo them there, unsuccessfully. Not responsive, he made a food trail for the birds to follow from the ground to the garage door just yards away. Still they would not come. All his many valiant efforts failed. He was so frustrated that finally he said to himself, “If only I could be a bird, I could lead them to safety.” At that moment, the church bells rang. God chose to ‘become” a man to get us humans to follow Him to eternal “safety”.

There is a relatively recent, beautiful Christmas song titled In The First Light. In its 3-4 minutes the composer takes us from Christmas to Easter, from His first coming to his next one, from humility to glory. The best rendition online is by the a cappella group, GLAD. Find it.

Mike Olsen

Escanaba/Ford River