THE Christmas Story

Dear Reader:

On Christmas Eve for the past three decades I have told numerous Christmas stories at the Children’s Service…about Christmas trees of every description, animals of every type , legends for every Christmas tradition (old and new), Christmas mountain trains who help poor children get presents, coats made from rags and love, Gullah Christmas tales, frozen-in-time Christmas stories, fruit stories that involve either an apple or an orange, fairy tale Christmas stories, angel stories…especially the fun ones like Gloria who is never at the right place at the right time…until the one time when it matters most….and we still remember her when we sing “Gloria!” 🙂

Some stories are humorous, others nostalgic, and some even tear-jerkers…but they all share a central theme..LOVE is what makes Christmas when everything else fails…Christmas is LOVE. Christmas isn’t about money or riches…even the lack of…it is about human kindness shown to one another.

In all these years… I can honestly say…I have never told THE Christmas Story…I leave that up to Luke and Jeff, our pastor…or a congregational reader. Nope…I am the “A/An” storyteller…not  “THE” storyteller.

Do you remember your teacher explaining the difference between the “A/AN” articles (parts of speech) and the “THE” article in your grammar class?

“A/AN” are known as “indefinite articles” – they precede generalized nouns…an example: “We might go to a movie tonight or perhaps an advent gathering.”

“THE” is known as a “definite” article…it precedes specific nouns. TheGrinch Who Stole Christmas” is playing tonight at the Colony Theater.

Of all the thousands of Christmas stories…perhaps millions, we immediately pick up on the difference when we start listening to THE Christmas Story read through Luke in scripture on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

THE Christmas Story that changes the world…THE Christmas Story that has something for everyone…a twisting plot including villains, conspiracy theories, rumors, angels, wise men, housing issues, potential health issues, monetary concerns, shepherd witnesses, rare constellation enigmas…overlapped by human emotions, fear, concern, terror, surprise, faith, hope, and human love for a newborn beyond mortal comprehension…while a star leads us home. It doesn’t get any better than the original story.

In fact…I am finding that going back down memory lane for the past 30 years is much harder than telling one Christmas Eve story…but that is okay…I will start at the very beginning…(a very good place to start)…when a hurricane named Hugo blows through town…and end the story when a mind-blowing corona- virus pandemic spreads throughout our world…bringing pain, panic, fear but also renewed hope, faith, trust…and yes… love!

So until tomorrow…Take time to travel back to past personal Christmases this year and reward your family with a story when you, yourself, overcame an obstacle to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Tell your family the story they will want to pass down to their children one day. A gift for the ages!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Luke texted me today to ask how the tree looks since it has been trimmed…I told him him “spectacular” because family (Mandy, Eva Cate and Jake) came Saturday and helped decorate it…and love always makes a Christmas tree more beautiful…I then sent him this photo…adding he picked a “winner” this year!

 

***On the way home from running errands today…I noticed a decal on the back window of a car in front of me at a red light…I mis-read one letter and found myself laughing  when I snapped a picture from my car …Later under the lights I  saw what the letter should have been.

I thought the decal looked like it said “CAKE LIFE” ….and (my stomach was growling) I thought…“Umm… I want to know more about this person who’s living a “cake life”…I would like a piece of that life right now.”

…Only to realize after examining the photo again at home…it most likely read “Lake Life” and that is a nice life too…but I think I preferred  the “Cake Life” better…at least my sweet tooth did! 🙂

 

 

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 THE Christmas Story

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Wednesday morning, Becky,
    For some reason I didn’t read yesterday’s post until this morning. Had to agree about the Peter Pan collars, Bass Weejuns, etc. I never had the latter until I went off to college in a tiny town in NH and bought myself a pair. My mother mostly made my clothes, but I, too, had clothes from Sears – the a-line skirts and imitation Villager clothes. I lived in a CT suburb of NYC (Weston) and went to high school in nearby Westport – THE town of luxury homes and rich, rich people – unlike we who lived in tiny Weston (w/o our own high school). I always felt out of place and being the introvert that I am, didn’t have many friends. It was only when I went off to college – like you – that I found real friends!
    And today’s blog about THE Christmas story is spot on! Are you aware that we’ll have our own “Christmas star” on the 21st, when Venus and Saturn will “align” and make what will appear to be the “Christmas star.” I sure hope we have a clear night that night!
    Much love as we all await the coming of the baby Jesus!
    Sis

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes…I made that analogy for this year’s telling how the 30 year storytelling tradition began with Hugo and then a white Christmas…while this year we had a coronavirus and the sighting of the Christmas Star bigger and better than ever…in over 800 years. God Winks everywhere.

      Growing up is so hard…glad we only do it once.

      Like

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