There is no
by Rose Panico
remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my
big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered.
"Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her
that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew
Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went
down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her
"world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because
Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I
told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she
snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going
around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your
coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General
Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about
everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten
dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she
said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you
in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother,
but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed
big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that
ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it
for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my
neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby
Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat
right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker
didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess
during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the
teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker
didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the
ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked
real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the
counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I
replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I
told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't
get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and
wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out
of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper
and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove
me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was
now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I
crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then
Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered,
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present
down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of
the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door
to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent
shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night,
I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what
Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and
we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
The First Christmas
by Dr. Bobby Braile
Nearly 2000 years ago
the baby Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. This blessed event
would have been looked upon quite differently if seen from a medical
perspective. Let us examine the so-called "modern" thinking about
What a big risk our
Heavenly Father took when He sent His Son to us in the way He did.
First of all, the Virgin Mary was much to young to bear such an
important child. Plus, no tests were performed to see if she was
even capable of carrying the child full term. Also, Mary was not
adequately prepared. She attended no birthing classes, did not
practice her breathing, nor did she read up on the birth process.
It should also be
noted that some safety procedures were ignored during this
pregnancy. I mean, no blood tests were done, no obstetric
examinations, no ultra sound, or even the listening and monitoring
of the child's heart beat. And surely, for such an important baby,
an amniocentesis should have been done! Not even the proper regime
of vitamins was given to the mother for her nutrition. When you
think about it, we're taking a major risk here.
And just think of the
terrible conditions for the birth itself. Certainly the stable was
not sterile. And with all those animals in the same room it's a
wonder there wasn't a major infection. Not even simple clean sheets,
or surgical masks for the three Wise Men were used. And I'm quite
sure that Mary was not on the proper delivery table with her feet in
If that's not bad
enough, common medical practice was ignored from this point on.
Certainly an important woman like Mary should have been given some
pain relievers or a spinal block to help ease her discomfort. Of
course an episiotomy would have been called for to help out. I'll
bet that a set of clamps weren't even available in case of need. Not
to mention the lack of fetal monitoring equipment in case an
emergency cesarean was required. I mean this whole procedure sounds
like a nightmare.
From there on it
still got worse. No surgical instruments to cut the cord, no silver
nitrate for the baby's eyes, no fetal intensive care units, no
alcohol rubs, no temperature control cubicles, no suction of the
child's nose or throat, none of the modern safety precautions that
should have been used.
The more I think
about it, the more I'm convinced this entire procedure was a menace
to the mother and child. Someone should be liable for mal-practice
in a case like this. With the state of things as they were, I'll bet
the child Jesus never even got His required vaccinations!
I don't know,... but
if it were up to modern medicine, this should have been done much
differently. God sure took a big chance.....
... or maybe we need
to rethink the things we think are necessary and stop interfering
with normal God-given miracles.
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