Day 2 Christmas Countdown 2022

I may possibly have 25 mugs to share with you in the course of this, but I am not making it a daily thing. Just took a quick pic of my mug this morning in front of our tree. I encouraged some who follow this on social media to share a picture of their mugs and it was fun. So please feel free to post in the comments on Facebook a picture of your Christmas mug if you are so inclined. 

Okay…enough of that – here is today’s story. 

Christmas books and stories have been a part of my story for as long as I can remember. 

As a child, my mom purchased a collection of Christmas stories that came in one of those big books. It probably wasn’t as big in size as I remember, but I can still feel myself snuggled up next to my mom on one side and my sister on the other as she read us one story a night for the month of December. 

In between the stories were pages with short poems and those were bonus nights because we got some extra reading time. 

One of my favorites were Granny Glittens and her Amazing Mittens which was the tale of poor Granny who knitted mittens for all the children every year. They had adorable patterns like trees and snowmen. 

But one Christmas she got her shipment of yarn only to find a letter in the box apologizing that all the store had was white yarn. 

This was pre-Amazon days so she was stuck with it. 

She was so sad, and then got the brilliant idea of dying the yarn by melting down all the pretty candies she had in bowls around the house. Well, the dye worked and she knitted for all the children but also propelled her business drastically because these items were not only warm, they were delicious and so the children ate them and had to have more. 

I can still see the illustrations of course and the children with various mittens being bitten off and it makes me smile. 

Another favorite was The Penny Walk, where two girls tossed a penny at each corner to determine the direction they would go. Heads = left, Tails = right (don’t quote me, it’s been a while).

The illustrations were so quaint and detailed their adventure until they came to a row of very large homes. The wind was picking up and suddenly a wreath blew off the door of one house. 

They chased it down and returned it only to find out the owner was an elderly lady waiting for her cab to take her to the train station. Sitting amongst her luggage she was sadly pondering what to do with her parakeet. 

She was heading to a warm location for the winter, and her little bird couldn’t travel. Please don’t ask me why she was only just thinking of this. As a child, it made perfect sense. 

Long story short, one of the girls needed a gift for her little brother (I think) and she had purchased a cookie with the only money she had, but had broken the cookie falling on the wreath to stop its progress. 

So of course, the kind old lady had her cab first take the little girls home along with the parakeet for the brother before it would come back and take her to the train station. 

The stories were all kinds of Christmas magic for us. My mom had to read these to us when we were way past the age for stories. 

When we launched into our own homes as adults, we would alternate years passing the book back and forth. Then Russ and I began having children and my sister thought I should keep it, but it turned out that the love of the book didn’t pass on to our little ones. 

Since Carla didn’t have children, I gave the book back to her to enjoy each year. 

Being fully transparent, as I must be, I have lost not only the book but contact with my sister. 

Through a decision on her part, I don’t know where to find her and so, as with so many Christmas memories, there is a mixture of emotions as I think of that book. There are happy memories that have the shadow of the current condition of our relationship. 

I think that is part of the Christmas story though and one that we are wise to remember when our feelings are conflicted at the holidays. 

My devotion this morning reminds me that Christ was born to die. His purpose in coming was to become the sacrifice for our sins and the sin of the whole world. 

While His birth was celebrated by angels, shepherds, wise men, his parents and a couple of people at the temple, for the most part it was ignored completely and for one man, it was a threat worthy of murder. His mother was told by Simeon in the Temple, even as he celebrated seeing His Savior, that a sword would pierce the child and the mother as well. 

 The birth of Christ is wonderful and the season around it is filled with joy for so many. But like His coming, some are ignorant of the significance, some are so angry they are filled with hate. And for us who believe, it is a season so very rich with joy that the stuff of earth He came to fix can feel even heavier than usual. 

So rest easy when you can, enjoy the celebrations, recognize that in the midst of all the hubbub we may feel sad and try to do all out of love and honor and glory to God as you move gently through this Christmas 2022.

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