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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 24, 2004
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character." - Albert Einstein

Source: Heart Touchers, http://www.hearttouchers.com


It was Christmas morning. The night of storm had passed, leaving a twelve inch fall of new snow. The sky had cleared. The thermometer was plunging to a seasonal low. The coming of light to the world of upper hills revealed a scene of fantastic beauty.

From the stone chimney of the humble mountain home a blue plume of wood smoke curled briskly into the still air. Inside, across from the lively fire on the hearth, was the tree, scarcely less beautiful than the world outside. Around it were the children, still in pajamas, eyes bright with anticipation.

There were presents for all a pair of skates, a homemade sled, a pocketknife, puzzles, knitted stockings and gloves. Not many. Not expensive. Practical. And this year there was a gift for daddy. A particular gift the first from his youngest child, a rosy cheeked dynamo of seven.

Everyone in the household knew of it. The secret was much too big for a first grader. But daddy didn't know what it was. Earlier in the week it had taken an hour and the help of mother and the older children to wrap it. There had been frequent peekings through the curtains to make certain that daddy wasn't spying, and the whole enterprise had been carried forward in an atmosphere of profound importance and secrecy.

And now, before he could even think of his own presents, the little man seized this package of all packages, ran across the room, and thrust it on daddy's lap.

Slowly, with a joy that only a father can know, daddy read the greeting and began to remove the wrapping. The writing, the knots, the folding of the paper all were typical of a lad of seven. Inside the colorful outer wrapping were two other coverings, one of plain paper, one of newspaper. Next was an old cereal box, cut down to half size, crammed with crumpled paper. In this was the gift, no larger than a hen's egg, clumsily wrapped, held together with tape.

Mother was standing at one side and the children were crowded close when father broke the seal and folded back the paper. Three pieces of candy a gumdrop, a twist of taffy, a miniature candy bar. Unquestionably all were from the little Christmas sack given to each child at the school program a few nights before.

With a heart too full for words and his mind reeling under the impact of the lesson taught by his son's gift, the father bent over and pressed a long and loving kiss on the waiting cheek. Not until that lad of seven comes to spiritual maturity will he know what he did for his father that cold Christmas morning in the hills.

Three pieces of candy! Packed in crumpled newspaper and cut down cereal box. Poorly wrapped and poorly tied. Everything bearing the marks of soiled and inexperienced fingers. Made to look larger and more imposing than it was. Addressed in a first grade scrawl that could hardly be read.

Given thus, but given in love. Given from the precious store he himself had received only three evenings before. How it touched the father's heart! How rich it was in spiritual meaning!

By Sanford T. Whitman

Source: Signs of the Times, Copyright (c) December 1960, Pacific Press, http://www.signstimes.com

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Don’t know much about . . .
Christmas Customs Around the World

If all you want for Christmas is a long vacation, move Down Under. Christmas is the world's most widely celebrated holiday, but those celebrations can be very different from the American idea of Santa and snow. Christmas comes during summer in Australia, so kids get a six-week vacation, and Christmas dinner may
be served on the beach! What do you know about Christmas customs around the globe?

Try this quiz by Kenneth C. Davis, the author of
“Don't Know Much About History.” Answers below.

1. What is Boxing Day?

2. In what country do children put out their shoes in January instead of hanging stockings in December?

3. Where do bad children risk a visit from Father Spanker?

4. In what land do people fear prankish Sprites that supposedly emerge from the center of the earth at Christmastime?

5. Where are you likely to be served an eel on Christmas Eve?

6. Where do children wear lighted candles on their heads?

Quiz Answers

1. An additional day of gift giving, celebrated on December 26 in Britain and several of its former colonies. The name is said to come from the custom of noblemen boxing up gifts for their servants that day.

2. On the evening of January 5, Spanish children put their shoes near a window or by the front door. The next day is Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. Legend has it the Wise Men arrive in the night and fill the shoes with small gifts.

3. On Christmas Eve, French children put their shoes by the fireplace, hoping Father Christmas (Pere Noel) will come. His partner, Father Spanker (Pere Fouettard), delivers a spanking to naughty children.

4. Greece.

5. Italy, especially Rome.

6. Sweden, where seasonal festivities begin on December 13, St. Lucia Day. In the morning, the eldest daughter in the home dresses in white and wears a wreath with seven lighted candles on her head. She serves the rest of the family coffee and buns in bed.

Source: USA Weekend, December 19-21, 2003, http://usaweekend.com


A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn't get a baby sitter."

Source: Monday Fodder mailto:dgaufaaa@iohk.com?subject=Subscribe_Monday_Fodder

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Bread Basics

Per 100 grams (about 4 slices):

White Bread vs. Wheat Bread

Calories: 361 --- 246
Fiber: 2 grams --- 7 grams
Carbs: 73 grams --- 46 grams

From: USDA National Nutritional Database for Standard Reference

Source: USA Weekend, October 15-17, 2004, http://usaweekend.com

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2004 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.