Day comes in all sizes. By sizes I mean our Christmas Days have come with good
or bad, happy or sad, memories of all sizes.
the pleasant, peaceful, and meaningful day of giving and receiving gifts is remembering
that God gave His Son on that first Christmas Day. (I don't know the how of it,
but by faith I know 'tis so.) To some people Christmas is a lovely custom, to
others a grand holiday, but to one writer-scholar, "The Christmas story is precisely
the story of one grand miracle, ... If you take that away there is nothing specifically
Christian left." (from "God in the Dock" by C.S. Lewis.)
|There is an advantage
for some Christians who are of the Orthodox (or Eastern Church) as they can celebrate
two Christmases a year if they so choose. They can celebrate December 25 according
to the Gregorian calendar or January 7 according to the Julian calendar.
Historic Events on Christmas DayHistory
tells us that on Christmas Day of the year 800, Charlemagne was crowned
as the Holy Roman Emperor and a mere 266 years later, in the year 1066, William
the Conqueror was crowned as king of England.
St. Francis of Assisi
is said to have assembled the first Nativity scene. (Wonder if he had to get a
permit?) In Austria, in 1818 the first singing of "Silent Night" performed.
1868, the United States President Andrew Johnson granted unconditional
pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers. The state of Alabama
was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday, beginning in
1836. In part one of this series, it was noted that Christmas was declared a federal
holiday on June 26, 1870.
Texas colonizer, Stephen F. Austin,
freed on bail from a Mexico jail on Christmas Day, 1834.
of 1941 was not a pleasant one for the people of Hong Kong. That was the
day the Japanese forces took the colony in World
War II. The Emperor of Japan ruled Hong Kong for most of the next five years.
The late Oz Quick, a Southern Baptist missionary from Guilin, China, was in Hong
Kong recovering from an illness that day. He spent Christmas in a Japanese jail.
We worked together years later in Taiwan.
Speaking of Taiwan, in
1947, the Constitution of the Republic of China on Taiwan went into effect and
became a holiday they called Constitution Day. Being mostly a Buddhist country,
they assured the people this was not a religious Christian holiday. It was a religious
holiday for the Christians and Constitution Day for the Buddhists, Daoists and
A history-making meeting on Christmas Day, 1977, was that
between – Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and the President of
Egypt, Anwar Sadat. The date was also Sadat's birthday.
on Christmas DayOthers
born on Christmas Day include: Sir Isaac Newton; Clara Barton (founder of the
American Red Cross); hotel magnate Conrad Hilton (San Angelo's Cactus Hotel was
the second one he built?). Musicians Cab Calloway and Tony Martin. (Dean Martin
died on Christmas Day). Actors Humphrey Bogart, Sissy Spacek; scriptwriter Rod
Serling (The Twilight Zone and "Requiem for a Heavyweight.") American footballers
Ken Stabler (the Snake, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers) and Larry Csonka,
Miami Dolphins running back in Super Bowls VI, VII, VIII).
short years ago, the first successful trial run of the system which has become
known as the World Wide Web, was on Christmas Day, 1990. The Internet Era
If our Christmases cannot be historic, they can be happy.
Along the Way with Britt
December 14, 2009 Column
Britt Towery, author of "Along the Way," welcomes
Christmas in Texas