The Christmas Carol
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Two feet of snow blows into six-foot drifts. A minus fifteen degrees make the snow crunch as we walk. I heard the song repeatedly as I worked at finishing the garage interior: Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
But the fire is so delightful—And since we’ve no place to go—Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow—It doesn’t show signs of stopping—And I’ve bought some corn for popping—The lights are turned way down low—Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
It’s an attribute of North Dakota’s scrappy people. We always try to look on the bright side, an attitude sorely lacking around our tiny planet. After all, without the snow, rivers wouldn’t flow. Hey, it rhymes. Without snow, the wheat wouldn’t grow, again a rhyme. The image is breathtaking as the wind dies, and we can see across the lake. Sculpted snow and trees flocked in real frost, branches hanging to the ground. The Blue Jays, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, and Nuthatch all compete for their turn at the feeder. A lone deer nibbles on the dried Zinnias. The lights of Christmas reflect on the pure white ground cover. A halo surrounds the Sun in rainbow colors.
Fishermen pull sleds with pop-up huts onto the lake, drill a hole, and open the brandy. Cowboys and the Doghouse bars serve free lunch and seasonal drinks of hot buttered rum and mulled wine. It always amazes me how many seventy-year-olds make it and, as they enter, state the obvious: It’s dang cold out there! Then gather at tables to talk away the afternoon as if they had not seen each other in five years.
Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but warm hearts gather in friendly rooms to celebrate what this season is all about, the birth of humanity’s redeemer, Jesus Christ. We pray and give thanks for the year’s blessings. There is plenty of complaining going around. Bad vibes fill the air with “bad news” about politics to pandemics. It’s time to be grateful and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Give thanks for the past, and present, then look forward to the future. We are “Redeemed.” Thank You, Jesus! We have miles to go before we sleep.
Merry Christmas to all, and all a good night!
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.