Thursday, December 22, 2016


Years ago my next door neighbors celebrated Christmas without any of the trappings. No large tree adorned the living room, no greenery or wreath hung on the house, Santa's reindeer didn't have a place on the roof, and the front yard was devoid of any blown up figures. Starting the week before Christmas the family gathered and read the gospels together. The youngest, Michael, needed help sounding out words. After the reading they sang-- gospel music, folk songs, carols.  If you stood right outside their house you heard six voices, a guitar, and a piano. Peter, their eldest, sometimes played his recorder.

No one created dioramas or strung popcorn on a tree. They did have one family crèche.

On Christmas Eve they had other families over to celebrate with a service they wrote.

And if you asked any of the ten children to tell you about Christmas their story was the gospel story.


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