Christmas is a Time to “Take a Sentimental Journey”

Dear Reader:

There are so many memories involved with preparing for Christmas that it is hard not to grow sentimental over the holidays…some happy memories and others perhaps sad. Still collectively they touch our hearts with laughter or a tear.

Brooke sent me some sentimental  anecdotes that someone had passed on to her…most of them I had heard at least once before (though they still tugged at my heart) but a couple of them I had not and then one reminded me of a recent incident in my family that still has me laughing to myself in the middle of the day.

Here are the two anecdotes:

A four-year old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, and who had recently lost his wife was sitting on his porch swing.

Upon seeing the man cry the little boy went in the old gentleman’s yard, climbed up on his lap in the swing, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy replied: ” Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

What a wise child! Don’t we, as adults, always want to fix everything…whether it is a problem with one of our children or another adult friend’s dilemma? When really…all a person in the midst of a problem wants is someone to listen to him or her? My on-going Word of the Year… LISTEN…I realize its growing power… year after year after year.

Second anecdote:

Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot  in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scot.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. 

“Guess what, Mom” he shouted. “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.” (I have never forgotten those words that will remain a lesson to me for the rest of my life.)

It is the second anecdote that reminded me of a story Mandy told me about…concerning Jake’s Christmas Performance Sunday night. The memory has me laughing out loud every time I think about it.

During one segment of the Christmas program each child was to recite a couple of lines from the Christmas Story. Unfortunately the majority of the children froze or were ‘star-struck’ or something and couldn’t manage to eek out but a couple of words.

So their teacher, poor Miss Angel, (perfect name for a pre-school teacher, right?) was running behind each child whispering the words in his/her ear.

Like the other students Jake started out strong…”Peace on Earth” and then pulled a blank. The audience saw Miss Angel scurrying over to Jake and whispering something in his ear. Since he had the ‘mike’ right in front of him everyone could hear Miss Angel’s whispering sounds beaming through.

Jake started again…“Peace on Earth… … … “Psst! Psst! Psst!” (mimicking Miss Angel’s whisperings.) The audience was wiping their eyes…with tears, mirth, and joy! Joy for four-year-olds at Christmas!

Yesterday was another cold day but at least the sun came out! Welcome back…we have missed you! Sometime during the middle of the afternoon I fell fast asleep after wrapping Christmas presents. I woke startled… wondering what time it was. I could see the sun was starting to dip and the clock said 4:30.

Suddenly a beam of sunlight shone through the glass storm door and turned the hearth a golden orange…right where one of the Santa Claus’s sat. As I stared at it…something new appeared…the shadow of an angel. I turned and looked back at the storm door and realized that my birthstone angel Marcia gave me several years ago had caught the sun’s rays and was basking in the glow. Mystery solved…but a beautiful one on a late cold wintry day.

So until tomorrow…We never know when God will wink and share a laugh with us from a four-year-old or provide a little mystery among His angels! The magic of Christmas!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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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2 Responses to Christmas is a Time to “Take a Sentimental Journey”

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Jake’s performance in the play is the funniest thing I’ve heard lately. That is one for the books, and I’m sure the family will tell this story long after he leaves preschool. Thanks for making my day.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I still chuckle to myself every time I think about it…hoping I don’t start snorting at the Christmas Eve service when the Christmas Story scripture of the angels is read.


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