Every year, with the completion of the holidays, I am faithfully reminded of the Christmas carol, In the Bleak Midwinter. The internet tells me the carol was based on a poem by the English poet, Christina Rossetti. Some of the words in that carol make my old bones ache. Just the first verse:
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Of course, the hymn goes on to become much more uplifting, telling the story of the birth of the Christ child, but that first verse always makes me shiver before I get to the good part.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a joyous and warm holiday. We gathered with friends and family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The grandkids are all under the age of 10, so there was still much excitement and anticipation.
Speaking of that, I am reminded of the words of the author, Robert Ruark, who wrote The Old Man and the Boy. He was talking about the anticipation in the air when autumn sets in and he compared it to the 23rd of December. He said it wasn’t quite Christmas yet, but it was close enough to ruin your sleep. From the sleepy eyes in saw in some of the little ones I would say they spent a few hours in bed lying in wait for the old man with the big sack over his shoulder.
Some of us from church went to an assisted living facility in Front Royal and sang some Christmas carols for the folks there. I don’t know who gets more out of that effort, the singers or the listeners. For some reason, I am always a bit apprehensive when I do that, then I come out and feel so good that I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
My bride keeps telling me I am spreading myself too thin. I then remind her that it is only because of her good cooking that there is so much of me to spread around.
That’s enough foolishness. I hope your holidays were wonderful. I hope you were able to spend some time with friends and family. I hope Santa was good to you, that you had plenty to eat, a warm fire to sit beside and time to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. God bless you. Take care of yourself and stay warm.