Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Little Drummer Boy

This final Christmas post was written by my sister, Sabrina. 'The Little Drummer Boy' is one of my favorite songs and Christmas stories!

The Lesson of the Little Drummer Boy

Perhaps one of the most beloved Christmas tunes in the Christian circle is The Little Drummer Boy. Over the years, the story has taken many shapes and forms to tell more about the Tiny Musician. But no matter how many different versions of the tale there are, the single most important part of the legend remains the same; namely, the simple gift of love.
The drummer boy appears at the scene of the Nativity and realizes that he, a poor lad, had nothing to give the King of kings. But instead of hiding away to avoid the embarrassment, instead of showing ingratitude, the Tiny Drummer chose to give a part of himself to the Infant King. “Shall I play for you . . . on my drum?”
Reflecting upon this aspect of the drummer boy, he teaches a virtue worthy of imitation. The lesson which is shown above is giving ourselves in disinterested love to God, using the talents He gave us to praise Him. It is not said whether the drummer played well- only that he did his best. Why did he do his best? What was in it for him? A pat on the back from the Messiah for playing so well? – No. The Tiny Musician played to give the only thing he had as a gift from pure love.
Talents are a part of a person. In most cases, a person becomes passionate about his talent. So much so that it becomes a part of him and when he uses it, he is giving a piece of himself with it. Our Lord Himself even told the importance of cultivating talents in His parable about the three servants and the talents distributed to them. One was given five; he used them in his lord’s interest and made five more. The second was given two but made use of them and gained two more, but the last hid his one and it remained dormant. The master was upset with the servant because of the servant’s ingratitude for the talent. The servant had not even tried to cultivate it.
So the Little Drummer boy used his talent as a gift to God. He gave himself to God in the simple tune that he played to the infant King. He gave God his best. The Little Drummer Boy invites all of mankind to play with him to the Infant not only at Christmas but in the everyday life so that man may sing with him “and He smiled at me . . . me and my drum.”    

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

WWI Christmas Truce

One of my favorite Christmas stories is the story of the WWI Christmas Truce. It shows the side of war that is easily forgotten. That the men are all scared and they all love their families and just want to go home. Especially on Christmas. The story shows also the magic and love of Christmas that changes everyone to be joyful and to share what they have with others.
This is the story of the WWI Christmas truce. I wrote it last year for an assignment but I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! ( First time I enjoyed doing a homework assignment :) )

Oh that Silent Night
            On Christmas Eve, after many of the dark days of WWI, the spirit of Christmas came alive and filled the hearts of the soldiers and compelled them to stop the inhumanity and celebrate together the glorious mystery of Christ’s birth. It all began on Christmas Eve when the Germans began singing Silent Night in their trench. The sound of their voices rung through the air and somehow changed the hearts of the British and French soldiers that night. They sang many carols until finally the other side joined in. Graham Williams, a British soldier of the fifth London Brigade, described that night as: “First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.” Then that silent night ended with an angelic peace that rung through the air in the form of men’s voices. They woke the next morning expecting to continue the war when the German soldiers rose from their trenches with their guns down and hands in the air. Although the penalty of communicating with the enemy was as treason, both sides ignored the consequences that Christmas Day. Though they were far from home, this miraculous gesture changed their lives for just one day. The men shook hands and first helped each other bury the fallen that morning. They then exchanged pictures of each other’s families and gave each other presents consisting of buttons, food, cigarettes or whatever they had. They played soccer and celebrated Christmas as best they could so far away from home. The next morning they resumed the war. These men disregarded the fact that they would have been killed had they been caught but they took action on what they believed was more important that Christmas Day. Through the dark days of WWI the spirit of Christmas came to life and filled the hearts of the soldiers with love and joy that Christmas day. “Sleep in heavenly peace.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Is...

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come.” As the song goes. Everyone is celebrating now. Why? Do some of us even know? Some may say Santa, gifts, or just another reason to spend money. These are all parts of how we celebrate Christmas, but, what is the essence of Christmas?
 This past weekend I attended an open house. I was at the headquarters of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property. They host this open house every year and welcome everyone to come. All the members of the organization have their special role in setting the ambiance. Some did the decorating, some did the cooking, some did the serving, some entertained, and the list goes on. They all sacrificed a little to make a wonderful celebration for anyone who wanted to spend it with them. They all gave their best effort to show a beautiful way to wish everyone a merry Christmas. They set garlands, nativities, and mini villages. They had Christmas trees and much more. They had a band who had been practicing for weeks just to complete the ensemble, but, the best feature was the love and laughter shared between the guests. This was done for the love of neighbor because of their love for God.
 So now to answer my first question. What is the true essence of Christmas? It is the joyful sacrifice. With all the hustle and bustle of shopping deals and hectic lives led at this time, it is easy to forget why we do these things in the first place because we are too busy doing them. But, the spirit of sacrifice is what it is all about. Why was Christ born – why did He even come? Of course, to die to open heaven to us. So the Babe was born to die for love. Thus, we celebrate because He came to save us, but, we all know that He had to die. That was His sacrifice which we imitate. Sacrifice is selfless. That is true Christian charity and that is what I experienced this past weekend.
You may have heard of this analogy but I want to use it. Christian charity (sacrifice) is like a lamppost on a stormy night. No matter how dark it is, it will never be extinguished. And so even if you did not spend your weekend enjoying the gift of sacrifice and simple joy that I just have, I urge you all to make a sacrifice for Christmas. Especially in a world so pampered that when a phone battery dies, one cannot control himself for even an hour. Offer the sacrifice for others. Help those who need it, and give a little extra and share your talents with others. Do it with love and give it your all, just like the Christ Child. You never know who you can help or inspire unless you go out and do it.
Some ways of doing this are volunteering your time to a nursing home or orphanage (depending on where you are), giving to the poor, or even by having a party of your own where you take your time and put it into the d├ęcor and food to share with others. Now, Christian charity needs to be practiced all year long, but, especially at Christmas when the essence comes to life and accentuates the joy or unfortunately, the loneliness that people have in their lives.
For society to return to God, we need to do these things to show how wonderful and marvelous Christian charity is that stems from our beautiful faith. I hope you experience the love and joyful sacrifice which I am so blessed to have shared in and have a very merry and blessed Christmas!