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Bits & Pieces December 23

It is hard not to feel like Scrooge this Christmas season, especially when you listen to the news on radio and television. A man going into a school board meeting and shooting at random. At least no one was hurt physically, mentally is probably another story and the sad part is nothing was accomplished and his family has to suffer the embarrassment. Or the story in Birmingham, Ala. where someone burned down the town's Christmas tree for the copper wiring in the tree lights. But the community members did rally and another was put up.

And the football coach who deliberately tripped the player from the opposing team and caused him injury, thankfully not very serious. When did winning become so important that we lose respect for players and playing the game in true competitiveness?

And stealing Christmas presents from homes?

Where is the "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men"?

It makes me think of the story by O Henry, "The Gift of the Magi". To those of you who don't know the story. I will give you a brief review. The story is about Della and Jim Dillingham Young. By today's standards they were very poor. Earning $20 a week and paying $8 a week for their flat, that left only $12 for food and other needed items. Della was able to save a mere $1.87 and wanted to buy a Christmas present for Jim. It seems that Jim had a beautiful pocket watch that had been his father's and grandfather's. She wanted to buy him a chain that he could attach to the watch. But $1.87 wasn't going to be enough.

Della has beautiful long brown hair that fell to her knees. She decided to cut and sell her hair, which she did and received $20, enough to buy the chain she wanted.

Now Jim loved Della's beautiful hair and the perfect gift for Della would be a set of combs, a beautiful set of tortoise shell with jeweled rims. Jim had sold his watch to buy the combs for Della's Christmas present. They gave of their greatest possessions for the other.

The story represents the gifts of the Three Wise Men, who knew the art of giving and knew what the Christ Child needed to fulfill the prophecy.

So in the Christmas season let's not think of the news, but of the greatest present we will all receive.

Have a Merry Christmas!