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On Christmas Day

Yes, it’s here at last. How the time seems to fly by now that I’m old.

Luke Chapter 2
1) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2) (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Let’s just have Linus take it from here, shall we?

Back to Luke for the rest of this epochal story.

15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

As Mary did, so we should ourselves ponder these things in our hearts, not just on the joyous day of Christmas alone but on what the reborn Ebenezer Scrooge called “every day of the glad New Year.”

But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late! That was the thing he had set his heart upon.

And he did it; yes, he did! The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.

His hat was off, before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock.

“Hallo!” growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. “What do you mean by coming here at this time of day?”

“I am very sorry, sir,” said Bob. “I am behind my time.”

“You are?” repeated Scrooge. “Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir, if you please.”

“It’s only once a year, sir,” pleaded Bob, appearing from the Tank. “It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.”

“Now, I’ll tell you what, my friend,” said Scrooge, “I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,” he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again; “and therefore I am about to raise your salary!”

Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.

“A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you, for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!”

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

Indeed. It just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without the annual repost of this incredible impromptu performance.

Can any thinking person seriously contend that it mightn’t have been Almighty God Himself who brought these men together in that hotel bar to lift their beautiful voices straight up to Heaven in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mother in this miraculous, soul-stirring way? Or that the spread of the Christian faith throughout the entire world to endure for well over two thousand years to date might be no more than mere happenstance? Or that Christmas Day, be its origins ever so humble, is now celebrated in every continent on Earth owing exclusively to the fickle vagaries of chance and circumstance?

I think not. A most happy Christmas to my readers one and all; may your days be merry and bright, friends. However humble our own Christmas celebrations might be, we are nevertheless richly blessed, and must never, ever forget it, nor ever fail to let our gratitude shine brightly out from the deepest corners of our hearts and souls, for as long as we’re spared.

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1 thought on “On Christmas Day

  1. Merry Christmas back at you. Hope it’s a great one and may you have many more.

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