More accurately, you may say, that should be “ten days until Christmas”; but in my mind these are the ten important days.
Each year Debbie and I try to make a concerted effort to have everything possible finished by the 15th so we can take a deep breath and enjoy the Christmas season for what it is meant to be. Yes, the decorating is done; shopping is over; the packages are wrapped and under the trees; we both have had our church groups in for the seasonal parties; and we feel confident in our hearts that if Christmas was suddenly moved to ‘in the morning’, we’d be completely ready for it. (Starting early is the trick.)
I asked the Sunday school class I’ve taught for 30 years this morning, “Is everybody finished and ready?” and got varied answers and a few dirty looks. (I’ll ask again next week in hopes that the yeses will be unanimous.)
The next ten days, God willing, will be restful and fun. We’ll see all the lights of the area; we’ll have family get-togethers; we’ll have lunch together at different places with and without other folks. There will be things to do for the next ten days and we will look forward to every one of them but with none of the pressures this time of year usually carries.
So to every person I have heard from and will hear from through my website and Facebook page, I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas. May God shower you with the blessings of the season and a peace that passes all understanding. Here’s hoping you have the best Christmas ever and that you take time to stop and enjoy it.
December 15, 2013 —-DSR
I never thought I would ever be remembering something that happened 50 years ago.
It is so daunting to think I can look back over one-half century (Wow! that sounds even worse) and remember an event as well as I remember the one we’re all talking about today.
I was in my first semester of Business College (I never finished the second semester as I quit to join the Johnny Cash Show on the road in March of ’64). But there I sat in class that cold November day when the Headmaster walked into our room and said, “The President and Vice-President have just been shot in Dallas.” After a moment or two he added, “Why don’t we just call it a day and everyone go home.” We quietly gathered our things and did just that.
It was on the short drive across town that I heard on the radio that that initial report was wrong. Vice President Johnson had not been shot, but the President had just been pronounced dead. I can remember exactly where I was; even the store I was riding by. I went straight home and stayed by the television for the rest of the day and night and the rest of the weekend.
I didn’t know it then, but I have looked back many times since and realized this was when the Fifties ended. Not with the New Year of 1960 – that’s not when that peaceful, sweet, carefree decade came to a close. No, it was still going on in all of its black and white glory on the TV screen until that day in Dallas. That’s when it all changed. That’s when we grew up as a nation and realized these horrible things could happen to us.
It had been only a short time before all this, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that I came to the realization that I was watching something on the small screen with no written ending. I was used to scripted stories and it was scary to know in your heart that this thing could go either way, any second. And now an assassination right before my eyes? History had interrupted our daily lives and we all knew it.
So flash ahead to Sunday morning when I was coming out of church and turned on the car radio again and heard that the man who shot Kennedy had now been shot himself. What was this, the Old West come back to life? People shooting people in the streets. A nation gone mad. Where would it stop?
And then a few short months later, February 1964, the Beatles showed up and changed our music and our fashion and nothing would ever be the same again. But it was November 22, 1963 that started it all. Jack Kennedy and the Fifties were dead and none of us would be the better for it.
It is a sad time to remember.
DSR – November 22, 2013