Surprise! It’s Christmas!

photo 3 (66)

Dear Reader:

If we think back on our own childhood memories of Christmas morning…of all the mixed elements on this day of great anticipation for children everywhere…the element of Surprise is (and has always been) the key ingredient!

As much as children hate waiting for Christmas (and they really do…”Is it Christmas today?” over and over) this is the most exciting part of it. As I have watched my own grandchildren open Christmas presents….it is the excitement of not knowing what is in the package that is the best part…the surprise.

As soon as the present is open….with a quick “ooh” or “wow”…it is tossed aside for fear of missing out on the next present still containing the element of surprise.

photo  I remember, as a child, being more caught up in the Christmas stockings surprise than the presents around the tree….The idea that suddenly Christmas morning someone or something had transformed prior empty, limp stockings into fat, bulging ones…now filled with toys or candy hanging over the tops of them…completely fascinated me.

Maybe it had something to do with the idea that “someone” or “something” had been allowed to come in our house during the night and fill the stockings. After all I had watched mother go through her ‘locking the doors ritual’ every night and yet on this night…it didn’t seem to upset her that someone was wandering around the house stuffing stockings. A true mystery and surprise!

Now as an adult I find the same exhilaration of “surprise” that I did long ago from childhood Christmases…in everyday God’s Winks. God does love the element of “surprise” for His children too….watching us make a spiritual connection for the first time.

When I read (recently) about a life-altering “Wink” in the form of a mistakenly addressed magazine subscription that changes one person’s life…I, was once again, assured that our adult “surprises” can have long lasting effects on our lives. Here is the story: (from Sermons. com/author Chuck Swindoll)

I like the story about a professor who sat at his desk one evening working on the next day’s lectures. His housekeeper had laid that days mail and papers at his desk and he began to shuffle through them discarding most to the wastebasket. He then noticed a magazine, which was not even addressed to him but delivered to his office by mistake. It fell open to an article titled “The Needs of the Congo Mission”.

Casually he began to read when he was suddenly consumed by these words: “The need is great here. We have no one to work the northern province of Gabon in the central Congo. And it is my prayer as I write this article that God will lay His hand on one – one on whom, already, the Master’s eyes have been cast – that he or she shall be called to this place to help us.” Professor Albert Schweitzer closed the magazine and wrote in his diary: “My search is over.” He gave himself to the Congo.

That little article, hidden in a periodical intended for someone else, was placed by accident in Schweitzer’s mailbox. By chance he noticed the title. It leaped out at him. Chance? Nope. It was one of God’s surprises.


So until tomorrow…Let us always be open to God’s element of surprise…His “Winks” that can change the direction of our lives if we are open to them.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I loved my surprise that Walsh, Mollie, and Rutledge gave me last Thursday….my Boo’s Garden Rock which I have already added to my garden….and this cool tent like fabric that I can protect bushes or plants with… from the winter freeze. These gifts sent me in the direction of my garden…which always makes me happy.

photo 4 (51)

It is something about the winter season and the dormant garden that I find quite restful…for once I can pretty much leave it alone…and just let it rest knowing that seeds are growing unbeknownst to our eyes above the ground.

* Don’t forget….Christmas Eve is approaching fast and we are looking for the “Holiday Monsters” who slink in to separate us from the comfort and joys of the real meaning of Christmas. Choose one or more and share with us for the Christmas Eve blog. I will need it by Tuesday to get it included for Wednesday’s blog. Thanks everyone! (Even if you run out of time to make something or even take a photo…just write out your monster and why you chose it)


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.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Surprise! It’s Christmas!

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    I love your garden rock! That was a great present I am sure. And if I may, I would like to use that idea for a gift for someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Of course…I love it….great idea for the garden!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.