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Real Answers™
Copyright: ©2006 William E. Cripe, Sr.
485 words


By: William E. Cripe, Sr.

December is here--the month of freneticism for adults, the month of dreams for children, and the month of rest for teachers.  

I love December.  I've said it before and I'm saying it again, I know it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, but I love all the trappings of the season.   

I don't mean the insane commercialism and the ridiculous lawsuits about mangers and Christmas trees-oops, I mean holiday trees-but I love the decorations, the lights, the greenery, the garlands, and the songs--both the truly wonderful and even the sappy secular ones like Frosty the Snowman.  I do draw the line at dogs barking out jingle bells. 

For me, all of it, even the so-called, secular celebrations portend the wonder and joyous celebration of the incarnation of God. And even though the silly Christmas tree has little to do with Christmas, I love putting one up and decorating it with reminiscences of Christmases past because for me, Christmas was a time for dreams to come true. 

I wasn't raised in a Christian home, and we were not well-to-do.  Actually I didn't even realize how "poor" we were because my parents loved me and they sacrificed so my siblings and I had what all the other kids had.   

Years later I became aware that our Christmases, which were marked by avalanches of presents, were made possible by our relatives who supplemented what I thought were from my parents.  If only they were around to thank them. 

Did the lavish pile of presents, train sets and games, robots and dart guns spoil me?  Honestly, not one bit.  What it did do was make my young eyes twinkle with awe and thankfulness to a God I prayed to in spite of my unchurched upbringing.   

The so-called trappings, the sparkles, the colors, the smells and surprises, only made the intangible splendor of an Almighty God tangible and real to me.  When I finally learned, as an adult, that the God of heaven had a name—Jesus--it was one small step into his living arms.  Little wonder that years later the same God called me into ministry, and when He did there was no question or hesitation on my part.   

So for all the criticism about the trappings and the secularization of the season, some parents of faith need to lighten up and know that God can use even the trite and trivial, the tacky and contrived, to woo the heart of the child who cannot comprehend the profound theology of incarnation, but effortlessly grasps the splendor of sparkles and from whom the sparkles derive. 

Ah, ‘Tis the season, indeed!  So put the grumpies away for a few weeks and try to bask child-like in the joy of celebration when people are a little nicer--in spite of themselves-- and when God, come as a man, greeted a lost world with the cry of a baby.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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