BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee staff! Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy today’s newsletter. By the way, it is 2 degrees in Little Rock. Wind chill -20! Minnesota weather hits the Southland! It’s colder than Clark Griswold’s attic!
P.S. Chicken & Dumplings: I made chicken & dumplings last night. I learned the recipe from retired Marine Hoyt Tidwell. Best ever! I bought his cookbooks and rolling pin. He’s the real deal! https://youtube.com/watch?v=8gEyAC03fxY&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
1. A Simple Christmas
By Mike Huckabee
Back in 2011, inspired by my book “A Simple Christmas,” I asked listeners of my radio show “The Huckabee Report” to share their own favorite family Christmas memories. Some are heartwarming, some are hilarious, but all of them are inspiring and wonderful.
In recent years, as the news slows down around the holidays (and let us pray that it does this year!), my staffers and I have taken a break around Christmas and New Year’s week to revisit some of these stories from the archives so we can spend a little time with our families. I hope you find as much entertainment, joy and meaning in these stories as we do. And rest assured, if anything major happens that we feel we have to pass along, we’ll do that. We’ve also prepared lots of other new material in advance. So please keep reading every day!
Between the ongoing supply chain crisis, spiraling inflation and other issues, many people may find it hard to be with their families or have fewer gifts under the tree than in previous years. Many are also still dealing with the heartbreak of an empty place at the table due to COVID taking a loved one. But even though many of us have to scale down our celebrations, I refuse to let anything or anyone “cancel” Christmas. As the Grinch learned, Christmas is not something that comes from a store. Christmas means a whole lot more.
Young people have been misled into thinking this is the worst time ever to be alive, when in fact, despite all our current problems, they are extremely lucky to have been born in this era. They might find it hard to believe, but Americans have lived through far worse times than these, from the Civil War, to World War I and the Spanish flu, to the Depression and World War II to 9/11. Yet we have always survived, come together and overcome the most difficult problems. I’m hopeful that Americans are finally waking up to the real cause of our current miseries and getting ready to remove it. We will “build back better” the way we always have: by doing it ourselves, together, not relying on the government to do it for us.
Previous bad times caused us to have far humbler Christmas celebrations than we do now, but that doesn’t affect the meaning of Christmas. It just reminds us all the more of the extremely humble surroundings at the birth of Jesus, and that Christmas is about the joy of knowing that hope and renewal are always within our grasp when we discover that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
These wonderful stories and memories are a perfect reminder of what Christmas means and how important it is, especially in hard times, when memories are created that last a lifetime. I hope that some of them will also remind you that even if you’re feeling down because this year’s celebration is sparser than usual, most of us are still incredibly blessed. When we stop dwelling on our own problems and share with those who have even less, that’s the best way to become filled with the joy of the true meaning of Christmas.
I hope you enjoy these stories, and from all of us at the newsletter, my TBN show and MikeHuckabee.com, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!
2. Christmas memories that last forever
By Mike Huckabee
Joe from Oklahoma shared a special Christmas memory that sounds like something the dad in “A Christmas Story” might have pulled. Joe still vividly recalled when he was seven, and he and his two siblings rushed downstairs expecting to find stockings and gifts. Instead, they found mayhem. A toppled glass of milk, chairs thrown around, and the tree on its side.
They rushed to wake their parents, who came downstairs with crafty smiles. Joe’s dad was a police officer. He told them Santa had spilled the milk, refused to clean up after himself, and was rude to him. This had sparked a tussle that spilled out into the back yard. Then he pointed out a pile of dirt in the back yard the size of a fresh grave. Joe assured the kids that Santa escaped alive…but he said, “Rudolph will never (relieve himself) on our roof again.”
Well, I must admit, that’s one original way to create a lifelong Christmas memory for your kids! Or maybe just to scar them for life. Either way, it was unforgettable!
Annette from Texas also shared a funny Christmas memory that’s taken on serious meaning over the years.
Around the time she and her twin sister were teenagers in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in the late ‘50s, a tradition started in their small Baptist church to create a living Nativity scene. Members would dress up as all the characters of the Nativity, so that cars could drive by in reverence and awe and see the Christmas story in 3D. It took months of work, part of which was coaching teenagers on how to “be still and know God.”
However, they never could teach the live animals to be still and know God, so it could be pretty nerve-wracking, trying to stand motionless next to a live camel or goat with some less-than-reverent ideas of its own.
Luckily, Annette was given a very special role that didn’t require any animal wrangling, but it had its own unique hazards. She wrote:
“I was the angel on high – 20 feet high to be exact…When the angel climbed rickety, dark stairs at the back of the makeshift manger stall, the act itself took such fortitude and perseverance that the spotlight on her was snuffed every 15 minutes and a new angel would appear as fast as she could safely make that climb.
I prayed for all I was worth: not to fall, not to faint, and not to freeze to death…a few blocks from the Gulf, we never knew if we would have freezing cold or temps so hot at Christmas we could have worn bikinis under our angel attire – IF that would not have been a sin…But I digress. We were told that angels could not move a muscle. Even if the nose itched (or some other place), or if we felt a sneeze coming on, we HAD to remain perfectly still...Being 20 feet off the ground with arms outstretched for 15 minutes and a thin wooden support-cross hidden behind me in my white robe, I couldn't help but know—or pray for—God's presence.”
Annette said she didn’t remember having any epiphanies back then. But time and again over the years, when she needed guidance or to trust that things would work out, or to know that stillness can bring a peace that passes all understanding, she’s thought back to what she learned from her scary job, dangling over the Nativity Scene. As she put it:
“God reveals Himself to us in His son through His Holy Spirit. And I don’t need angel wings or a halo to fly to His presence. Just that hidden cross of support.”
3. HYMNAL: Away in the Manger
1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.
3 Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
and take us to heaven to live with you there.
4. Coming home this Christmas
By Mike Huckabee
A listener named Phyllis wrote that it was Christmas Eve, 1942. A young woman was waiting, pregnant and alone, for her husband of 4 months, who'd been drafted into the Army and was training to be a pilot somewhere in the Arizona desert. He had written to her that he couldn't get leave, so they would not be together on their first Christmas as husband and wife. Refusing to let herself get discouraged, she kept a light on in the window as she wrapped a few gifts.
Meanwhile, he was way off in Arizona, quietly reading letters from her, when his sergeant came into the barracks and asked what he was doing there on Christmas Eve. When he heard about the soldier’s pregnant wife, the sarge gave him permission to go home. But that was just the first obstacle down.
The young private grabbed a few belongings and raced to find any way to get back to California. But there were no more trains or buses that night. So he walked to the nearest highway and stuck out his thumb.
Somehow, he hitchhiked 450 miles home. His last ride dropped him off several miles from the cottage where his pregnant wife was. He walked the last few miles in pitch darkness, assuming that at that late hour, his wife would have long since gone to bed. But as he neared the little house, he saw the light shining in the bedroom window.
When he opened the door, he found his darling, still awake and thrilled to be in his arms again. She'd waited up for him, never giving up hope that her dearest would find some way to be home for Christmas. Phyllis wrote, "This true story was told to me by my dad before he passed away in 2000. The young couple were my parents…And I was the baby they were expecting."
I'm glad that Phyllis’ parents' faith in the power of love to overcome all obstacles was passed down to her, and I thank her for passing their family’s cherished story on to us.
5. A card or a phone call could mean the world to someone
By Mike Huckabee
This year, it may be impossible to host a big gathering for distant friends and relatives. But don’t forget to let them know you’re thinking of them, and that “family” doesn’t just mean blood relations, as Mario from Indiana reminded us:
"I grew up in Mexico in an orphanage with 40 brothers and sisters. My mom and dad, as we called them, were missionaries for 28 years. When we celebrated Christmas, we had toys and clothing, but the best gift was that mom cooked breakfast for each child according to what we wanted to eat on Christmas day.
When I asked mom why she did that, she said, "This is my gift for you guys.... Something I can do with my own hands for you." I love my mom and dad for giving us love when our real parents didn't."
Thanks, Mario, for that great reminder that it's important at the holidays also to remember and include the people who are like family to us. Even if you can’t invite them to your home this year, a card or a phone call could mean the world to someone who’s feeling lonely and forgotten.
6. FROM THE MAIL: Reader wants to know what happened to John Durham
From Barry B:
Mike, Whatever happened to the Durham Report, that generated a lot of false hope and excitement? Is it dead and buried, or is it buried and now dead?
Thanks for writing, Barry. Sadly, both your choices have the word "dead" in them, meaning, I assume, not just merely dead but really most sincerely dead. That pessimism is understandable considering how long we've been waiting for resolution.
Durham's report is supposed to be submitted by the end of the year, so let's hope that happens. Surely this special counsel knew that his "prosecutions" would not bring convictions in those particular courtrooms, and he obviously was using them as a vehicle to get the facts out and tell the real story of the Russia Hoax. He accomplished that, at least for anyone who was paying attention. But now it needs to be released in final, official form.
Notice that in anticipation of that report, it's starting to be circle-the-wagons time at the DOJ, including by this Obama-era official who, a couple of months ago, shortly after Igor Danchenko walked, called for a "pause" to avoid releasing findings that might "unfairly tarnish" the FBI. News flash: at this point, the FBI is already so tarnished that all the silver polish in Martha Stewart's kitchen couldn't make it look better.
Matthew Miller, former director of the DOJ's public affairs office (2009-2011), says the report should be reviewed by Attorney General Merrick Garland or "another top official" --- we're guessing former Obama attorney and current deputy AG Lisa Monaco --- before a decision is made on whether or not to publicly release its findings.
Miller takes issue with "the way Durham has behaved," including "inappropriate public statements during this investigation," his "poor judgment," etc. It has to be read to be believed. Some people will say anything, but this type of undeserved character assassination only serves to make us think he DOES NOT WANT this report to be made public. If he had something better to use against Durham or the investigation, he would.
So, that's where we are right now. The official report should be coming out soon, Durham really did connect the dots, and some people will do everything they can to keep us from reading it.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A treat from ‘Huckabee’ and MikeHuckabee.com writer Laura Ainsworth.
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