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Friday, December 21 2001

Christmas reflections - O tannenbaum

This will be my last Jonal entry until after Christmas. David Caldwell is here Saturday and Sunday, and Monday I hope to send my annual Christmas letter instead of the regular Jonal. It was last Christmas's letter that led to the idea of sending out a web page every day and inspired the launch about 25 days later of this new feature. And for Christmas day I'm planning to send out an article that I like a lot, about a favorite Christmas carol, more appropriately sung on Christmas day than beforehand.

Our tree, 2001Today's reflection is a short thought about Christmas trees. I'm loathe, for theological reasons, to speak of the "magic" of Christmas but, for most of my early years, until my marriage ended at about age 40 (20 years ago give or take a year), I believe, the family Christmas trees were the closest thing to magic in my life. In my youth I loved to sit in the living room on Redmill Road long after everyone else had gone to bed and look at TV with one eye and the Christmas tree with the other. It always inspired great feelings of warmth and security, even after Christmas. Everything about it...the species of fir we chose (Scotch pine), the way we mounted it in a Christmas tree stand designed to contain life-sustaining water, and pre-eminently the decorations that were the oldest tradition our family knew anything about, the creativity put into putting the ornaments, lights, and garlands in the right places...were part illusion, like magic, and part miracle, seemingly, Divine direction.

Today's picture, taken by son Mike on his Canon G1 digital camera, is not intended to impress anyone with our tree as something special. Just to share it because we especially like it this year and we doubt that you'll get over to see it in person.

Check out the contributions to this year's Christmas page. Join the Forum! Please share your reflections, too! They might be random short thoughts or recounting more complete memories; "stories." What did you wish for? What did you get? Materially? Spiritually? What made, or broke, a Christnas? How is this Christmas shaping up?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Clinical Christmas carols (first of a series)

SCHIZOPHRENIA: Do You Hear What I Hear?
MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER: We Three Kings Disoriented Are
DEMENTIA: I Think I'll Be Home For Christmas
NARCISSISTIC: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing About Me
MANIC: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and . . . .

—Anon.

Advent thought for the day

Christ is, in His coming to the world, the Godman. He is one of the Holy trinity; the divine person who has become human; the human being whom the divine person—the uncreated Logos, Son, and Image of God—has become, for us men and for our salvation. This is the essence of the Christian message and worldview, the essential truth to which all witness must be borne and all service rendered.

—Thomas Hopko
All the Fullness of God

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