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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas story’

Twas the Night Before Christmas

(inspired by a true event)

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1  Carrie ©

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone. He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 2 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “Spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 3 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely empty  streets and a fast disappearing, single set of footprints, that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2010 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

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Is it just me or does Christmas seem to come around much quicker these years?

A couple of weeks ago, when the reality hit me that the Christmas season was fast approaching, I had a momentary feeling of wanting to just skip it ALL this year…that overwhelming feeling many of us are familiar with…I have so much to do in so little time, with so little money.

Then I did a little reminiscing and thankfully the Christmas spirit came upon me once again.

For those of you who need a little encouragement I invite you to come and reminisce with me.  I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Scenes from Christmas past spending time with family….

Come inside where it's warm - Win ©

Building a Snow Church

Building chapels in the snow - Carrie ©

A morning of family cross country skiing - Carrie ©

Scenes along the way - Bench by a temporarily abandoned campfire - Carrie ©

10 acres of cross country trails to explore - Carrie ©

The sleigh ride - Driving Diamond and Silver - Carrie ©

6 month old St. Bernard - came along for the ride - Carrie ©

Diamond and Silver enjoying every bit of their workout - Carrie ©

Antiques hidden in the snow - Carrie ©

I think - a manure spreader from days of yore - Carrie ©

A classic I'm sure - Carrie ©

Where are those sugar cubes? Carrie ©

Pencil Crayon by Carrie © - Rescued Percherons

It may be cold outside, but the fire of friendship is warm and inviting - Carrie ©

Christmas is about relationships and building memories that will carry you through the tough times – sure to come to everyone at some time or another.

Our homemade nativity scene - Carrie ©

This nativity scene the kids and I made when they were little. They’re all grown up now, but we still haul these little characters made from spools and cloth out every Christmas.

Our tradition – on Christmas eve our family tells and acts out the Christmas story of Jesus birth. We each take a part and the characters to go with that part.

The parts about Mary soon to deliver her first child,  and Joseph having to travel by donkey to Bethlehem for taxation. Caesar had ordered it and they must go… we tell of how there was no room in any inn because of this, but then they find the stable where they will be warm and safe. That night Jesus was born.

Then comes the part about the shepherds watching their sheep by night, and then the angel of the Lord showing up – suddenly in a brilliant flash of light, and how he tells them not to be afraid but to go and see the baby that was born, the son of God come to bring peace to all men – to save them from themselves and their own destructions…and the angel is joined by a host of angels singing and praising God. All of heaven is in a state of rejoicing.

We move to the Wise men and tell how they followed the star which led them many many miles, all the way to the stable where Jesus was born. They brought him most precious valuable gifts of Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh…

We light the final candle in the advent wreath…

And then… we open the gifts…

Christmas is complete once again. I sit silently in my comfy chair, alone now among the lights and the glow of the flickering candles, and I am thankful. My heart is calm and full of gratitude…for my family, my friends, and most of all my God who did the unthinkable – sent his only son Jesus to earth so that I, you, everyone, could have a relationship with Him. Now that is what it’s all about. And that is why I celebrate Christmas.

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