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Authors: Darryl Nyznyk

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BOOK: Mary’s Son
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On December 17, 1994, Loretta and I threw an eighth birthday party for our third daughter, Julia. Her birthday is December 24
th
, but, for obvious reasons, we usually had friend-birthday celebrations either a few days before or after the actual date.

 

On this particular birthday, we hosted eight seven- and eight-year-olds, in addition to Julia and two of our other three daughters, to dinner and cake at a raucous Hawaiian restaurant, a movie, and much hilarity. By that night, Loretta and I were exhausted although none of the girls showed any signs that their night was at an end. Nevertheless, within half an hour, we’d gotten the birthday celebrants into pajamas and gotten sleeping bags spread throughout our family room.

As I stood in front of the fireplace and the fire I had just kindled, surveying the chaos and only imagining what was yet to come, I had a vision of storytelling around a campfire. Since we hadn’t done much camping in our lives, I hadn’t had firsthand knowledge of such events. But I’d heard about them. I’d heard that a good rip-snorting fireside story was just the tonic for the roiling mass of eight-year-old exuberance that was about ready to explode before me. Although I had no hope it would actually work, I asked if they wanted to hear a Christmas story about some people who had actually seen Santa Claus. To my surprise and Loretta’s obvious relief, they all shouted, “Yes!”

 

Back row, L to R: Hannah (mouth open), Kelly, Julia, Wendy, Santa, Kaitlin, Kendall. Front row, L to R: Autumn, Meg, Alex, Jeana.

 

And so it was that
Mary’s Son
, known only by me at the time under some long-forgotten title, was first heard. Loretta dimmed the lights. I sat on the fireplace’s hearth, the flames warming my back, and told the story.

For nearly forty-five minutes, I sat before these kids gesticulating and shouting, whispering and conspiring, and ultimately performing as best I could. They were enthralled.

To this day, I don’t know if all those girls believed the story. I know from parents’ comments and from Julia herself that several did.

When one of the girls asked me if the story was really true, I responded softly, “I don’t know for sure. But I know the people who were in the story. They told me these things happened, and I believe them.”

Now you, dear reader, might ask me the same question, and my answer would be that some of the story is true, and some of the story is not. But whether it’s true is not the real
issue; for it is not the facts that matter but rather the message of love that comes from the truth of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a love of all humankind…a love so genuine…so true…that if all people simply spend a few minutes every day pondering and living it, there would be a peace so profound in the world that pain, suffering, strife, and discord would cease to exist entirely.

I wish you Peace on Earth…Goodwill to All…and above all, I wish you
Merry Christmas
all your days.

 
BOOK: Mary’s Son
8.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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