120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times

Matthew 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus, God With Us

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

The year was 1959. The month was September. I had just started sixth grade in Gretna, Louisiana. I would spend the next three years at the same “Grammar School.” My life was common to those of my school mates. I lived in a small house that was located only about three hundred feet from the school. At lunch time, I could go home, or go to a nearby grocery store and buy a “po boy” sandwich (French or Italian bread with ham, turkey, shrimp, or oysters, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato slices). I could also have my lunch at school where we would have tasty red beans and rice, with links of smoked sausage, every Monday. I would arrive at school every day early enough that I could play basketball or jacks. I might also shoot marbles or try to sharpen my yo-yo skills. When we started our school day, we would say the pledge to the flag and say a prayer. We had real Christmas holidays, and had real Christmas programs at school. We would sing Christmas carols, which included biblical songs. The school would give the children song sheets that showed the words to those biblical songs. Teachers were free to talk to their classes about their church lives. Most of my friends watched the same television programs. We didn’t have cable tv or dish types, so our selection was limited to traditional network programming. The programs were family oriented and were not restricted to “church and state” limitations. The Cleaver family went to church and Sunday School. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, and Gomer were shown in their church, even when Gomer might fall asleep and snore during the “Reverend’s” sermons. The Christmas programs that were produced and shown by ABC, NBC, and CBS did not hide the fact that “Jesus was the reason for the season.” Television hosts did not omit “Jesus” from their discussions when they were talking about Christmas. Jesus was truly “God with us” during those programs. Please take time to play the videos that I have selected to show that there was truly a much simpler time of Christmas in our nation’s not too distant history. You may gather that I am a fan of Bing Crosby’s songs. May God bless the USA!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Andy Williams

The Christmas Waltz
Frank Sinatra

The Christmas Song
Nat King Cole

Christmas
Andy Williams

The Secret Of Christmas
Bing Crosby

Silver Bells
Bob Hope And Olivia Newton John

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Andy Williams

The Bells Of St. Mary’s
Bing Crosby

O Sanctissima
Bing Crosby

My Favorite Things
Andy Williams

The Lord’s Prayer
Perry Como

Do You Hear What I Hear
Bing Crosby

Ave Maria
Perry Como

Away In A Manger
Bing Crosby

The Carpenters
On The Perry Como Show

The Osmond And Williams Families
On The Andy Williams Show

Silent Night
Bing Crosby

O Holy Night
Andy Williams

White Christmas
Bing Crosby

If you have any memories that you would like to share, I would be honored to read them. Please have a Merry Christmas, in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.

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11 thoughts on “120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times

  1. Mother would make me a dress each year for the Christmas program at church.patent leather shoes were ordered from Seats catalog and I could look at them but not wear them until Christmas eve. At church, after the program all the children were given a paper bag with curly hard candy (didn’t like it) and a caramel popcorn ball (loved it).

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    • Thanks for sharing; you made me smile, and almost cry (really)!. I can almost see your patent leather shoes. Hang onto those memories; they’re irreplaceable. You might want to also check our my post, “Christmas Hallelujah.” Many blessings to you, in the Name of Jesus.

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  2. I remember those Bob Hope and Andy Williams specials as a kid. Your childhood was similar to mine in that Christmas at school really included Christ. We had Christmas plays, sang hymns and looked forward to Christmas special on television. Thanks for sharing some familiar memories!

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  3. So we are both baby boomers. The things that made Christmas a spiritual occasion for me were not activities in school, but it was the Christmas pageant at church (my halo was used annually), the caroling, and hearing the great Christmas hymns of the radio on Christmas Eve. What undercut the spirit was the lust for presents and the stresses that infiltrated the otherwise heavenly family time. If the church and the family do their utmost to keep materialism at bay, I don’t think what the secular world does or fails to do will have the power to dampen the spirit of the true miracle of Jesus’ birth in the slightest. Lots of love.

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    • Thank you for your thoughts; they are right on target. There is a word that I use to emphasize a point of humor; it is “voice inflection,” and indicate such in my writing by “vi.” So, I will use great vi when I say, “how did you “guess” that I am also a boomer? Really, it was a wonderful time. I wish that the younger people of today could have been exposed to the things that boomers, such as “you and I” were blessed to have in our childhood. I just had a visible remembrance (is that a vision?) of my stepfather taking a Christmas tree into our house in about 1957. Thank you for triggering that memory; it is very special. I’m glad that you checked out “Christmas of Simpler Times.” It took me quite a while to put it together, but it is one that I read, and listen to,very frequently. Another thought: I don’t think that we have any variety shows on tv that have a true Christmas theme. So, much for now. Please have a happy New Year. I saw the day change on tv for Tokyo at 10AM today. Are you in the new year, yet? By the way, does God have a Rolex? I am on Eastern Standard Time. Thank a lot for the agape.

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  4. Speaking of Christmas in simpler times, I asked an older Fijian friend what Christmas was like when she was a child. (Even now, the typical Fijian’s Christmas is Cleaning the House, Going for a special Church Service, and having a HUGE All-Day Family Dinner – lovely and basic, although the stores are doing their best to lure folks into a pattern of big spending).

    What my friend said was different when she was a girl was that the shopkeepers would give a present to their loyal customers. You might get a bag of flour from the grocer and some t-shirts from the general store and the like.

    I realized that my Dad (born in 1912) told me the same thing about his childhood in Missouri. What a lovely time and blessed Christmas spirit!

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    • Thank you for sharing. My father was born in 1922 and my mother in 1926. I lived in St. Louis (1976-1980). I have a ministry friend who lives in Goldendale, WA. She wrote an account of her family not having any Christmas gifts when she was a child. Her father took her whole family to a store (Walton’s family type) and someone had given secret gifts to all of her family, to include food. That story makes me misty eyed. I trust that God will bless you in many ways.

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