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Sharon Kinsey's Blog

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I stopped to pick up a few things at Target. I was looking for a book which meant I had to pass the toy section. The shelves were filled with action figures, Legos, board games, baby dolls and fashion dolls, radio-controlled cars…and parents were grabbing this year’s most desired toys to take home and wrap. Our family has always loved the line from A Christmas Story when the narrator says that Ralphie and his little brother come down on Christmas morning to a “cornucopia of unbridled avarice” under the tree.

But this year, our seven grandchildren no longer have toys on their Christmas lists. Our oldest grandson will leave for Denmark to study abroad right after the holidays, so he just wants warm hoodies and socks. One of our granddaughters made an on-line slide show; there were pictures of socks with little hearts, lip balm, and a couple of vinyl records (Imagine! Vinyl is now the thing!!). It feels rather impersonal to give an Amazon gift card, or put money in an envelope. I left the store feeling a little empty.

When I got home, Jack had hung our Moravian star on the front porch and turned on the Christmas tree. Christmas looks different now than in years past, but some things never change. We will sing carols around the piano, and the grands who live in Valpo will come to bake cookies. We will pile on the couches to watch our favorite, irreverent Christmas movies, laughing like crazy when the Bumpus hounds steal the turkey, and Clark Griswold can’t seem to get the 1,000+ lights to turn on.

Before we have dinner, we will read what Linus has to say about the meaning of Christmas: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a SAVIOR, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men. “

At a certain point in time, we realize that the important things are not the presents we open, but those things we can simply take. In 1981, my mother gave me book of stories and carols of the season. It begins with this quote, written in 1513 by Fra Giovanni.

I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

Christmas Blessings to you all!

Sharon Kinsey


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