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December 23, 2022

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.”

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Comments 1-5 of 5

  • Suzette Rogers

    12/26/2022 09:27 AM

    Imagine my surprise as I read this story to see one submitted by my twin sister, Annette! Yes, playing the angel in the Live Nativity Scene was quite memorable. So many years later, I'm so thankful to those who invested their lives in ours to give us this experience as well as many others during our years of growing up. Many of those young people became full-time ministers in churches, and those who weren't full-time volunteered in their church's ministries. Don't ever underestimate your influence as you serve God in whatever opportunity He gives. Whether it is as a minister or a lay person in the church, your efforts are worth every minute that you invest!

  • Sarah J Yoho

    12/24/2022 12:40 AM

    I always remember that my mother wouldn't allow anything to be under the Christmas tree except the manger scene. Christmas was all about the birth of our Savior. The few presents we were blessed to receive were on the floor to the side or on a chair. That is how it is at my house, too!

  • June Slemp

    12/23/2022 05:21 PM

    Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared (reverenced) the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that
    feared the Lord, and thought upon His name.

  • Kay Horton

    12/23/2022 03:42 PM

    The story about the angel is so incredibly precious and true. I love it.

  • Gail Denham

    12/23/2022 11:09 AM

    The Gal that hung for l5 minutes as an angel - I'm imagining if the angel had to sneeze
    or if a breeze came up and she actually flew - what an event and the precurser to
    the great live displays we see today. Great story