WHOSE BIRTHDAY IS IT ANYWAY?
Now it all begins. The Christmas decorations and displays in retail stores before Halloween was even here. It used to start after Thanksgiving and 'Black Friday' is still the "traditional" start of holiday shopping. Then retailers started gearing up even before we've given thanks for our Pilgrimage heritage and rich blessings.
Of course, retailers have long counted on the holidays to pull their businesses through another year. We always hear projections of what retail sales will be, depending on whether the economy is recovering or faltering. Christmas, it seems, is a "make it" or "break it" time for the economy. Some retailers do 75 percent of their annual business during the Christmas season.
I wonder. Did the businesses of Bethlehem make huge profits on the birth of Christ on that Christmas day a couple thousand years ago? Was there a sudden urge to run down to the market place and buy everyone a gift? I don't think so.
We wonder how we are going to pay for those Christmas bills after we have given until it hurts. The charge cards are maxed out, the bank account bottomed out and those who are unable to do as much as this or that person. But then people are often judged by the gifts they give or can't give.
The Christmas spirit is all too often gone as soon as the packages are opened. Christ had a gift for us: life in heaven when our life on earth has ended. Santa Claus brings the earthly gifts. Jesus gives the perfect gift.
- Ruth Swanson, Coeur d'Alene
THE CHRISTMAS CHILD
When I was just a little child
I somehow always knew,
The story of the Christmas child
Was mysterious but true.
Though hard for me to understand
I knew that deep within,
God sent his only Son to earth
To bring us back to him.
Our sin has separated us,
From sin we must be free,
To come into God's holiness
For all eternity.
So Christmas day God sent his Son
As the Savior of All men,
He shed his blood upon a cross
To cleanse us from our sin.
The after death he rose again
With victory for us all,
So we may live in Heaven with him
If on his name we call.
Now I've grown a little older,
Had some time to think it through,
I'm convinced now more than ever
That it's absolutely true.
How I love the Christmas story,
Let me hear it once again,
The one about the Christmas child
Who takes away our sin.
- Glenna Fox, Coeur d'Alene
A DANGEROUS CHASE
A young man went out into the world
It was greatness that he hoped to find
But as life's pressures 'round him swirled
Those dreams crumbled in his mind
Dejected by the "hand life dealt"
Our friend's thoughts did begin to waver
And because great failure he had felt
He hoped that drugs would be his savior
"Just numb it all" he told himself
As the needle slipped inside his vein
He felt he fought the world itself
For all that remained was pain
He had lost both family and health
Whilst success had been his chief endeavor
But loss of job meant loss of wealth
And he was without all earthly treasure
He passed out one night beside the road
And did not awake again on earth
Could anyone have his end foretold?
What would that warning have been worth?
The tragic end of this man's life
Should cause each man to pause
What do I value in my life?
What has been my greatest cause?
Will I come to the end and find
That all I've lived for is but naught?
To what has been my heart inclined?
What sort of treasure have I sought?
You see when all is said and done
Our temporal things won't matter
But when our chiefest treasure is the Son
We have a wealth that will not shatter
- Will Dole, Plummer
Send us your original poems, prose, essays and anecdotes.
The Press Writers Corner features original, creative writing submitted by our readers. We publish the column most Fridays in the North Idaho Life section of the print edition of The Press.
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