The Miracle of Christmas

Posted by Louise Tucker Jones on 12/02/2013

Growing up on a farm in the fifties was absolutely magical at Christmas. Though we had no telephone, TV, or indoor plumbing, we had a small shallow pond to skate on when the temperature dipped below freezing and acres of snow to tromp through.

But best of all, we had a community gathering at our school gymnasium with children dressed in bathrobes, sheets and tinsel to play the parts of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, kings, and angels. While the young ones acted out the biblical Christmas story, the high school chorus sang the message—Silent Night, Away In A Manger, We Three Kings and more.

Jay in a Christmas ProductionA huge Christmas tree, so tall we had to use ladders to decorate it, dominated the area close to the stage. When the holy pageant was over, someone ran to the microphone and announced they heard sleigh bells. The gymnasium, packed with people, became absolutely silent as Santa Claus, with his red suit, big belly and white beard, made his grand entrance with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho.” Applause erupted and children jumped up and down as Santa began calling names from the mountainous pile of presents under the tree. Packages that parents had brought so their kids would get a gift from Santa.

At the end of the evening, each person went home with a brown paper bag filled with hard candy, chocolates, nuts and fruit. I would lie awake that night reliving the magical moments of the evening. As a young girl, I loved the fact that I always got a new dress to wear to the program, my favorite being a red one with a full skirt and jingle bells sewn into the rick rack trim. Starched, crisp, can-can slips gave the skirt its flare and I loved the little jingle-jangle when I walked.

As a high school student, the words of the Christmas carols reverberated in my mind, reminding me of a Savior who came to earth. I pondered that story over and over. During summer nights, I often placed my pillow on the windowsill of the open window beside my bed and admired the starry heavens with a bright moon shining in on me. After the Christmas pageant, I would glance through that ice-glazed window, picturing the angels splitting the black, night skies with glorious splendor and announcing their message of the Christ Child’s birth to shepherds in the field. What a wonder!

Today, I can attend a number of elaborate Christmas productions at different churches and venues, but I miss those long ago pageants with children gracing the stage in holy attire, stumbling over a few speaking lines. I miss the closeness of community supporting each other. It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, young or old, you were part of the family in our rural school and church celebrations. I even miss those brown bags of goodies that my siblings and I would dive into at home, trading out the things we didn’t like.

In our present, fast-paced world, how many of us slow down enough to ponder that first Christmas when Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby? The Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, born in a stable to a young, virgin maiden. Angels sang. A star lit the eastern sky. The greatest miracle ever, yet most failed to see it.

Some of us still miss the miracle of Christmas. We look at the gifts instead of the Giver. The mundane instead of the miraculous. The hassles instead of the holy. This year, why not choose to be different? Look for the real Christmas. You just might find it in a child’s Christmas play when a petite, tinsel-clad angel announces to the audience, “For unto you is born this day . . . a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas! 

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