Gold, Circumstance and Mud

The following is a story told by a young father who was babysitting his four small children.

"Babysitting to me means reading the paper while the kids mess up the house. Only that day I wasn't reading. I was fuming. On every page of the paper gifts glittered and reindeer pranced and I was told there were three days left in which to buy things I couldn't afford and nobody needed.

"What" I asked myself did the glitter and the rush have to do with the birth of Christ?

"Daddy, we have a play to put on. Do you want to see it?

"I didn't. But I had fatherly responsibilities so I entered the living room. Right away I knew it was a Christmas play when I saw a lighted flashlight wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a shoe box .

"Rex (age 6) came in wearing my bathrobe and carrying a mop handle. He sat on a stool, looking at the flashlight.

"Nancy (age 10) draped a sheet over her head, stood behind Rex and stated 'I'm Mary and this boy is Joseph. Usually Joseph stands up and Mary sits down. But Mary sitting down is taller than Joseph standing up so we thought it looked better this way.'

"In came Trudy (age 4) at a full run. She has never learned to walk. There were pillow cases over her arms. She spread them wide and said only 'I'm an angel'.

"Then came Anne (age 8). I knew she represented a wise man. (She moved like she was riding a camel-she had on her mother's high heels.) She had on all the jewelry available and carried three items on a pillow, undoubtedly--gold, frankincense and myrrh.

"She undulated across the room, bowed to the flashlight, to Mary, to Joseph, to the angel and to me and announced: 'I am all three wise men. I bring precious gifts--gold, circumstance and mud.'

"That was all. The play was over. I didn't laugh. I prayed.

"How near the truth Anne was! We come at Christmas burdened down with gold--with the showy gift and the tinsely tree. Under the circumstances we can do no other, circumstances of our time and place and custom. And it seems a bit like 'mud' when we think of it.

"But I looked at the shinning faces of my children, as their audience of one applauded them, and remembered that a Child showed us how these things can be transformed.

"I remembered that this Child came into a material world and in doing so eternally blessed the material.

"He accepted the circumstances, imperfect and frustrating, into which He was born, and thereby infused them with the divine.

"And as for 'mud'--to you and me it may be something to sweep off the rug, but to all children it is something to build with.

"Children see so surely through the tinsel and the habit and the earthly, to the love which, in them all, strains for expression."

Author unknown


Forty Percent off Christmas

I was researching some Christmas stories, "Name that Christmas Carol " games and what not when I happened on an articles by Tom Miller written in 1999.

It seems applicable even now and so I felt to share it --Enjoy!

Forty Percent Off Christmas
by Tom Miller

40 % OFF CHRISTMAS the sign said. I paused for a moment. It caught me by surprise. 40% off Christmas?It caught her by surprise too,I think,when I stopped to ask,"Which 40% of Christmas are you taking off?"
Of course, it was an after Christmas sale.There was 40% off Christmas decorations, and the like. But the sign just said,"40% off Christmas." I never got around to telling her, but I kind of liked the sign.
You see, I'd like to take about 40% off Christmas too. Not in an after Christmas sale, mind you. But in the before Christmas time--
What if we'd take about 40% off the time that we have to endure the pre-Christmas, ads, sales, and marketing campaign? Maybe we could enjoy the season a bit more, and not be so fed up with it all by mid-December.
What if we'd diminish our expectations of what makes a "Merry Christmas" by about 40%? Maybe we could not be so depressed when it is all over. Or maybe, just maybe, we could relate a bit better to those for whom Christmas isn't very "merry" at all--the grieving, the sick, those who are alone, the poor.
Or what if, we'd spend about 40% less on gifts, parties, clothes, and dinners? Maybe we would still give, enjoy, and share in ways that brought true glory to the God who gave the first gift--the gift of Jesus Christ.
Maybe we ought to take off about 40% of the things we do, the lights we put up, the pageants we go to, the time we run to shop for that one last gift. Such a discount might make way for us to give more time for focus on what really matters in Christmas. I, for one, happen to think that Christmas has gotten way out of hand. Too much, too early for way too long. Time, money, energy, and all the rest.
I, for one, happen to think that a 40% discount isn't a bad idea at all. Stripping away 40% would leave 60%.
40% off Christmas leaves CHRIST--And that's what this Day, (not the 2 months before) are all about anyway--The Christ,God's gift of salvation. It's about how God first gave, so we could serve God, and bring glory to our Creator, by giving for each other.
So, let's do it!! 40% off Christmas. Then CHRIST will be left and we can celebrate the real reason for the season.
by Tom O. Miller
Bloomfield, NE December 28, 1999


Take a look back

I was afraid this would happen but did not know how to rectify it so you will just have to bear with me. I started a post the day after Thanksgiving showing the costumed photo-shoots that we had such fun with on Thanksgiving day. I finished that post Monday Dec 3rd. Granted it took me awhile, but at least I finished it and one with more football shots. However, if you only read the posts on the Worth's blog page you will probably never see them as they appear in chronological order from when they were started and a lot has been posted since then. You can see these fabulous photos of many interesting people on "Look who's here" and "More Football." If you read these posts on my very own page-no problem. Or you can scroll down a zillion pages. I did not want you to miss them as some of them are of you and all of them are worth viewing. I think, but then I'm prejudiced. Enjoy!