Christmas is “Kid Stuff” for Adults…

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Dear Reader:

Here are my “Three Wise Men” because I have learned more from each of them than  I ever knew before they existed. They have made me fall in love again with each of them. Powerful stuff!

Today is Saturday, December 20….five days before Christmas and I am sure that for many of you this means picking up last minute gifts, hitting the grocery store, and perking up the greenery that (by now) has dried up into little brown crinkles. It is a busy day.

As I was re-arranging Christmas pictures on the table by my tree…I found myself staring at these three precious gifts of life God has granted our family. Then it hit me that Christmas really is about “kid stuff”….the “Kid” born in a manger.

As I stared at each of the faces of my three grandchildren…Eva Cate, Rutledge, and Jake…I suddenly pictured the Three Wise Men following the Christmas Star to find the Christ-“Kid” to pay homage to Him. Christmas is truly about “Kid Stuff” …and in order to pay homage to Christ…we, too, as adults must return to the child within us….the child of wonder following the star.

As I replayed the Christmas Story over in my mind and the role of the Three Wise Men some new thoughts emerged concerning their part in the Divine Birth.

1) Like the Wise Men…if we follow the Stars, God’s Winks and Signs…we, too can find Christ. He is not purposefully hiding from us…He lives in us. We only have to travel inward to find Him…and outward to emulate Him.

2) We must bring our gifts and talents to Him to share with the world…because He is the one who, originally, gave them to us.

3) After we “see” Christ…we can never return home along the old familiar path…but we must forge ahead in a new direction… changed forever by His Presence in our lives.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

In my grandchildren…I see moments of the “Divine Spark” in each of them, I watch their talents evolving, and I know one day they, too, will forge ahead to build their own lives in their own unique direction….guided by God and Son.

In December of 1942, as World War II raged…an African-American poet wrote one of my favorite Christmas poems called “Kid Stuff.” His name was Frank Horne…a prominent member of the “Harlem Renaissance” and a strong voice for his people.

He was (also) the famous singer’s, Lena Horne, uncle with whom she lived for several years while growing up in Georgia. I hope you like this poem as much as I do.

 

KID STUFF  

The wise guys

tell me

that Christmas

is Kid Stuff…

Maybe they’ve got

something there.

Two thousand years ago

three wise guys

chased a star

across a continent

to bring

frankincense and myrrh

to a Kid

born in a manger 

with an idea in his head.

And as the bombs

crash

all over the world

today

the real wise guys

know

that we’ve all

got to go chasing stars

again

in the hope

that we can get back

some of that

Kid Stuff

born two thousand years ago—-

Frank Horne (December 1942)

…………………………….

So until tomorrow…Let us stop with our busyness now and take time to sit on the lap of Christ and listen to the Christmas Story…a sacred tradition to remind us about the importance of “Kid Stuff.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* The signs that Christmas is drawing nearer are coming faster and faster…Thursday it was Honey’s “Apple Tree” centerpiece and yesterday it was Joan Turner’s original artwork Christmas card. I can hardly wait each year to get it and hang it on the Christmas tree.

2014 is a treasure….whimsical and adorable….It is the front porch of home (Joan and W.T.) with their four dogs….Mickey, Billie, Lola, and Lucy. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Gin-g and I have been playing phone tag for three days…partly because my laryngitis refuses to leave and I can bearly talk on the phone…it has become a very unwelcome guest. (I even broke down and went to the ‘One Minute’ clinic at CVS…only to discover it is viral (not bacterial) and will just have to wear itself out….with the old remedies…honey and lemon, gargling with hot water and salt…. drinking hot teas, soups, etc (which I have already been doing)….I was really hoping for some powerful antibiotics.)

Finally we made a connection yesterday…Gin-g stopped by to see her “Friend Whisperer”….and in spite of it…we were able to communicate and had a wonderful visit. We exchanged gifts and I was left with a beautiful Lennox angel hanging on my tree…with the real  year-round angel being Gin-g of course!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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