The Promise Of Christmas

The more I think about it, the extra time and work that went into rewriting “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” was an absolute gift to me. It allowed me to hop, skip, and stumble into a realization that I call “The Promise Of Christmas.”

Events and people come together in the most amazing patterns to influence us in unexpected ways. Almost two decades ago (after teaching for two decades before), I was working for a mobile phone company in technical support for a year and then in customer service for another year. There was a group that was formed called “customer retention,” and their task was to hold onto customers who wanted to drop their contracted service.

One of their retention specialists was an elderly woman named Miss Geraldine. She loved God and she loved her church and she prayed. It was an everyday occurrence to look across our big office suite and see her standing in her cubicle with her hands in the air. Often you could hear her saying, “Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!” Even if you couldn’t hear her out loud, you knew exactly what she was saying.

Now this was not my tradition, but it was hers and no one ever complained about it because she was the best the company had for customer retention. You could just tell she loved everybody.

Miss Geraldine had lived her whole life in our little city of Portsmouth surrounded by other bigger and more prosperous cities. She had lived through Jim Crow laws and segregation, and then she had lived through desegregation and the strife of the 1960’s. Through it all, she kept smiling and loving everybody no matter what.

I asked her about all of this once, and she told me, “God gave me his best in Jesus, so I’ve got to give everybody my best too.”

And that was the start of how The Promise Of Christmas began to come together in my heart and eventually into my writing. God is Love. Love gives. For God so loved, He gave. We are most like God when we give from our hearts.

As Miss Geraldine would say to you if she were alive today, “One Christmas, God gave us His best gift ever. All He had. All He treasured most. The least I can do is to give my best too.”

I have to agree with Miss Geraldine. I’d almost bet she had chickens in her backyard.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you will have a good holiday season no matter what your tradition and even if you don’t have any tradition at all. Giving does not require a tradition, just a heart filled with love.


14 thoughts on “The Promise Of Christmas

  1. “Giving does not require a tradition, just a heart filled with love.”
    I have dear friends who believe in “nothing at all” except- love, truth and beauty. They are so generous with their considerable talents to their community and family and large circle of friends. Whatever our diverse beliefs, I heartily agree with your quote.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m with you Judi and endorse the quote.
      Before the Christians subverted it the festival was called Yule, many of the trappings of Christmas are Pagan in origin, the giving of gifts, the tree and feasting for instance.
      As long as we care for one another, give rather than take we don’t need special times of year or labels, just common decency and humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Phil. This was one of the challenges I had with this book…how to make it accessible to those who have a religious tradition and those who do not. I think Blanche says it best in the book…”It’s all about giving.” It really is all about caring for one another. Each of us can be someone else’s greatest gift. Thanks again. I always appreciate your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Judi. My best friend for the longest time gave a recovering alcoholic free rent for six years, maybe longer. He is a preservation architect and only goes into a church to restore its historic worship space, yet his generosity and compassion surpasses…well, I think you know where I’m going with this sentence. Thank you again.


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