My favorite stories with a Christmas Give Away
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Our family has much to celebrate in the month of December in addition to the birth of our precious Savior. We have a granddaughter who gets us started on November 30, and from them on it’s been one birthday after another, including one on New Year’s Eve.
The stories and legends that surround Christmas have fascinated me since I was a child and heard them from my grandparents. Grandpa was of German origin and always had a story to tell, especially about Christmas. I want to share two of my favorite ones with you.
My grandparents were always quick to let us know as we grew older that the stories were just that, stories and not fact, but I loved them anyway. The first one is the Legend of the Candy Cane.
A candy maker decided that his plain white, hard candy sticks needed something extra for Christmas. He took the cane and used the white to symbolize the Virgin Mary and the sinless nature of Jesus. Then he bent it in the form of a J to represent the name of Jesus. Next he stained it with 3 red stripes to
represent the beating Jesus received, and one thicker one to represent the blood He shed. For him , the candy cane now represented his Savior so dear. He made the candies and spread them around so that we could remember the great love Jesus had for us all and that His love remains even today. I always think of this story when I see the red and white peppermint canes. Even if the story isn’t true, the story of Jesus is.
The second legend has to do with the animals talking on that Holy Night. Jesus was born in a cave used as a stable for the innkeeper’s animals. Jesus birth is said to have happened right at midnight, and that as Mary wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, God gave voice to the animals and they immediately began praising God for this great miracle they had witnessed. Several minutes later the shepherds appeared and the animals went silent. The only humans to hear those voices were Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child.
The Animals’ Christmas Eve
In the barn on Christmas Eve, after all the people leave,
The animals in voices low, remember Christmas long ago.
One small hen, upon her nest, softly clucks to all the rest:
“Little chicks, come gather near. A wondrous story you will hear.”
The Animals’ Christmas Eve, a Little Golden Book, by Gale Wiersum and illustrated by Jim Robison.
The poem is from an old Golden Book I found in our sons' things in the attic. This legend persists today in Scandinavia, and wide-eyed, expectant children creep out to the stables at midnight to hear the animals praise God. Adults scoff, but the children believe. And who of us who believe in an omnipotent God can say it really doesn’t happen?
I’ve always loved both of these stories, and even incorporated the one about the animals into a short story.
What is your favorite Christmas story or legend? Many abound about this special holiday season to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I’m going to send a copy of my Christmas book, Christmas at Holly Hill to a lucky winner whose name will be drawn after midnight, December 14. Please be sure to leave your email address with your comment, so we can contact you.
Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football, baseball, and basketball games when one of the grandchildren is playing or performing. She is a member of several writing groups. A former Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and loves scrapbooking when she has time. She has written two series as well as several other novels and novellas. The first book in her new series, Love Stays True, released in June, 2013. Learn more about Martha and her family at her website by clicking on her name in the column to the right of our blog.