Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Picture

It's morning again. Nearly Christmas Eve. I sit here and think about all of my Christmas pasts. 48 of them have come and gone for me, number 49 only days away. I don't remember the first few but my memory is sharp from my past. I have been blessed with the ability to remember so much of my childhood. I think of all the changes that have transpired since my first Christmas. So many blessings along the way. So many different ways and places to celebrate the season. Starting life remembering Christmas in 75 degree weather in Miami Florida. People think I am nuts sometimes {well they aren't wrong} when I tell them we had watermelon with our Christmas meal. It was beautiful weather and I did not even know what snow felt like then. I loved fishing even way back then and would get fishing equipment for gifts. While the family whiled the morning away making Christmas dinner, I was busy fishing.
We moved to Arizona for two years and I found out a little about what snow looked like and felt like. Not too much but I wasn't fishing at Christmas time. We moved back to Florida for a while and then... we moved to Canada. Not just Anywhere, Canada. We moved 25 miles back in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia where we had a cattle ranch. Ok, now we have a culture shock happening. We left Florida the end of September. Still beautiful weather and wondering what the heck we were going to do with Sheep lined heavy coats. How cold could it possibly get back in those mountains? COLD!!!!!!!!! That is how cold. We arrived at our new home in the mountains on Oct 3rd. We had a blizzard on Oct. 4th. More snow than I knew could fall and the coat found it's way easily to my body.
Christmas again had changed for us. We now had the most beautiful living Christmas postcard a mind could imagine. The tallest Pines and the most beautiful Poplar trees a man could imagine were covered in the purest white snow. The ground blanketed in the same beauty, not a footprint marring it's untainted scenery. On the hill, just in front of our log cabin stood a Bull Elk, his majestic Antlers touching the tip of his rump as he raised his head to Bugle. Three females running towards him, their heads high as they trotted along the marshes. Blue Jays and Mocking birds, their colors so bright against the just rising Sun, flew across the fields, almost touching the ground before flying off to their nests. The Sun itself was just touching the tops of the mountains, giving way to the thought they might be on fire. A Thomas Kincaid painting? No, not at all. This was Christmas morning in the mountains and the artist was God himself. He painted such a perfect portrait, one had to take a breath in before looking at more of his painting.
Unable to get into town except for once or twice in the winter, gifts were mostly hand-made and something warm. Very welcome and made from the heart gifts that gave a whole new meaning to Christmas for me. The gift of giving from the heart was now planted in my heart forever. Each Christmas a different place, a different way but always, one thing remained. Every Christmas was the celebration of God's most wonderful and precious gift. The birth of his son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Today, I sit and watch the Sun come up over this tiny town I live in.It shines bright on the towns tall court-house tower clock. The ice pictures that Jack frost painted on my windows last night are slowly disappearing and I can see outside clearly. In a few days, we will again celebrate the birth of Jesus. A different place, a different way, even new faces and the memories of those watching from heaven will keep these tears flowing for a moment. The one thing that has always been and that will never change is that Jesus Christ is celebrated on Christmas Day. He is the reason we have Christmas Day. I hope that each of you feel the spirit of Christmas in your hearts. I hope that I have painted for you a picture of beauty for Christmas. May the very best of the season bless each and everyone one of you. from my heart to yours... Darrel

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