Friday, November 28, 2008

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

I just love Christmas. It's just so magical! And the belief of Santa Claus has a lot to do with that.

I went to the East Ridge Christmas parade last Saturday night. I decided to go, even though I didn't have anyone to go with. And I am so glad I did. I ended up standing next to a man and his seven-year-old daughter. It was so much fun watching the parade with this little girl. She just watched the parade with awe. But it was a long parade. And about halfway through, she began to get antsy. So, I told her that she needed to watch, because Santa Claus hadn't come by yet. Here's the conversation that followed:

girl: Santa Claus is going to be in the parade?
Me: Didn't you know Santa comes to all the Christmas parades?
girl: The real Santa?
Me: Of course! Is there any other?

So, she got so excited and watched the rest of the parade...and as predicted, Santa came riding in on a fire truck to greet all of the children.

It reminds me of another little girl, who's letter to the editor of the New York Sun has become quite popular. Eight-Year-Old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the letter, and a quick response was printed in 1897.

Here's the letter and response:

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank God for All His Provisions

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and although I have to work tomorrow and Friday, I just have to say I've got a lot to be thankful for. I'm thankful I have a job, because there are many people in the world right now wondering where their next paycheck will come from. And I am thankful I will get to go home and spend some time with my family this weekend.

I'm thankful for friends. My new friends, Stephanie and Neville, have invited me to spend Thanksgiving evening with them, so I won't be alone. I think that's so nice of them.

I'm thankful for sunrises and sunsets...and the chance to live each day.

What are you thankful for? Let's be sure to give thanks this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas

So, it used to be Happy Thanksgiving for the month of November, then Merry Christmas for the month of December. But it's changed, and silly me, I'm still trying to hold on to my traditions. I've been hearing about folks who have already decorated for Christmas, and my thought it, good grief! Celebrate one holiday at a time! Then, one of the radio stations here went to all Christmas music this week. I couldn't believe it! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I am afraid if we celebrate for too long, it will no longer be special...

So, I tried to hold off and not listen to the Christmas music. But somehow, my radio dial has made it to that station. And I've learned that Christmas music makes me really happy! So, I just left it there for now. As for decorating, I plan to start the process this weekend. I don't know if I'll do inside and out, but I will get it started. I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up the tree. But Thanksgiving is a week late this year. And I have to work Thanksgiving and the day after. I will be in Gordo visiting my family that weekend. So, I'm going to go ahead and break tradition and put it up.

So, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas--all wrapped into one.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend at Daddy's

This weekend, I am going to see my dad and stepmom. My dad called me about an hour ago, telling me he was home, and wanted to know if I would come. It turned out to be good timing, because I've been feeling a bit lonely this week. I've been sick most of the week, so I haven't had much contact with people, and I just miss my family. So, for anyone that might try to call me this weekend, I will be out of cell phone range until Sunday night. Yeah, my dad's is one of the few places on earth that has lousy cell phone coverage...he lives way out in the boondocks, right on Lake Weiss. But that's not so bad. It gives you a chance to relax from all the hustle and bustle of this world.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend

Valerie got here about 7:00 Friday night, and we pretty much went nonstop all weekend.
We went to Rock City, and we went downtown and to the North shore.
We ate in a wonderful Italian restaurant, called Tony's, in the art district.
We had a great time. I can't wait until she comes back. I hope it's soon!

Valerie standing in the states...

Here's me entering "Fat Man's Squeeze"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Special Visit

I am so excited! Nearly 15 years ago, I went to Camp Smile-A-Mile as a counselor for the first time. My brother had been diagnosed with cancer not long before, and I decided to be a counselor at the camp he had grown to love. So, I went, scared, not knowing what to expect. When I got there, I met a very special young lady. Valerie was seven-years-old when I first met her. And she and I instantly hit it off. After that year, I was her counselor every summer until she became a teenager and moved on to the teen cabin. I, of course, stayed with the little kids. But Valerie and I were able to stay close all these years. When I lived in Huntsville, I got the chance to visit with her a lot, since she only lived an hour from there. But since I moved, I haven't seen her that much. However, we stayed in touch.

Well, Valerie, I am happy to say, is all grown up now, and cancer free! And, this weekend, she is coming to visit me here in Chattanooga! I am so excited, I can barely contain myself. When you go to these camps, you tell yourself not to get too close, because they're all sick. But Valerie grabbed my heart on the first day. I am so glad she did! So, I am looking forward to my weekend visit with Valerie--just a month from when she graduates from college!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

History in the Making

It's history in the making! Barack Obama will be the first African-American president of the United States come January. I have to be truthful. I never liked Barack. I was a Hillary Clinton and a John Edwards fan. If you look at some previous posts, you can see me when I met John Edwards. And I never liked John McCain, either, but his running-mate, Sarah Palin, intrigued me. With all that said, at this time, I am happy with the country's choice. And I'm even happier that Obama not only won the electoral college, but he also won the popular vote. That doesn't always happen. I always wondered how you could elect someone president that didn't win the popular vote. But it's happened in recent history.
So, as we wait and see what the future holds, I just hope it's "change we can believe in", like Obama has preached his whole campaign. I want to see the economy get better. I want to see wars end, and peace across the world. I want to see an America that we can be proud of. An America that the world respects. So, as Obama and runningmate, Joe Biden, take office in January, no matter your political affiliation, or who you voted for, let's pray for our new leaders. Let's pray the Lord guides their steps as they lead our country.