1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Simple things

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


When I read those words from Luke chapter 2 verse 7, I think to myself, “how much more simple could it be said”, but scholars have worked to unravel the full meaning of those words for centuries and many have been amazed and befuddled and bewitched.

It doesn’t puzzle me, but then I was never considered the scholarly type. I have been called stupid, simple, so I guess maybe that is why I feel I have a grasp of the story. It has been told in a way that even I can understand.

I love Christmas and the simple things about it that make it so joyful. I love how total strangers will smile and exchange greetings in the middle of the mall or while going down the street with no hesitation at all. People will give at this time of the year, when they won’t at any other. People will give up deep embedded fears and prejudices feelings at this time of year and for a short time the world seems at peace with itself.

I remember back when this time of year was very simple. The Christmas tree was cut down with or without permission, off someone else’s property and trimmed with home made decorations. Popcorn would be popped and strung. Homemade gingerbread men adorned the branches along with a precious few ornaments bought from the store.

Christmas presents were few and usually consisted of one toy and new underwear and socks. As you grew older the toys stopped but it seemed Santa always remembered socks and underwear, long after you married and moved away from home.

Christmas always had carolers from several churches go through the streets. If they came to your neighborhood, it was permissible to go out and join in. It was an extra bonus if you were part of the group. Every now and then someone would invite you in for hot cocoa and sugar cookies.

The most important part of Christmas was having all the family at home. For a few days the house seemed over run with aunts, uncles and cousins. Brothers and sisters bringing new wives and husbands home and seeing baby nieces and nephews for the first time.

There was never a shortage of food and desserts seem to appear out of nowhere. No one had ever heard of Jenny Craig and would have run her out of town if she suggested any dish without plenty of fat or sugar or both.

The most important thing that was in abundance, was love. The type of touchy, feeley love that made it worth waiting for another year to gather once more to do it all over again.

Simple love, simple faith, simple gifts. September the 11th has changed us all. We realize its not how big or how many gifts we give to each other. The important things are love, security and warmth we share with family and friends. It made us realize that all we are, all we expect to become and all we have become is because God has given us the ways and means of achieving.

A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.