Will You Share Your Light?
By SHAYE LITTLETON, 18
"Another dull Christmas Eve," I mutter under my breath as I reach into my pockets to leave a tip for Flo, the same waitress that waits on me every Christmas Eve at Joe's Diner. I leave my usual tip of $2 even though the coffee and pumpkin pie only cost $4. The aroma of my coffee lulls me as I think of all the Christmas Eve's I've sat in this restaurant, same booth, and same heartache that I have no one to spend it with. Can't really say that I blame anyone but myself, but an extreme distaste of men always keeps me from finding that special someone. I look out the window and watch, as the snow dances past like tiny crystals being carried through the cold breeze of December... I also notice the same old man sitting on the steps of the community church across the street.
Every year I come here, and every year he sits, waiting for the local folk to come out of evening mass. I wonder about him, the same things that you wonder about everyone you see sitting on the side of the road with no place to call home. My thoughts are jarred as people start pouring out of the church, jabbering about who's going to who's house for apple cider and Christmas carols. I watch as the old man gets up and starts calling out over the cold night air, asking, "Will you share your light with me?" To anyone who will possibly listen. Most just brush past and mutter that there are too many trashy people around the city; others just laugh in mockery, calling out, "Crazy old loon, go home to your dumpster."
I couldn't sleep, thoughts of what I had seen last night kept tugging at me. What was this old man talking about? What did he mean by sharing your light? I found myself in the early morning hours of Christmas Day throwing on warm clothing while trying to make a quick cup of coffee. I was determined to talk to this man and if anything, try to talk some sense into him. As I stepped out into the cool morning air, my breath caught in my throat as I choked, trying to breathe. It was so cold that I felt my head spinning, and inhaling and exhaling alone was a task in itself. I backed out of my driveway and as I drove down the street, I seen lights on in the fronts of houses as small children were waking up, ready to tear the house apart just to see the presents that had been left by Santa. My heart ached as I once again longed for some answers in my own in life, so that I could move on and not be afraid to be happy for once. I pulled around to the backside of the church and parked. I felt like a lunatic, I mean, what was I going to say to this guy. I didn't even know how to approach him. As I rounded the front of the building I couldn't see anything through the fog, much less a human form of any kind. My mind raced as I wondered if he was even there at all, and if he wasn't, I would never have the answers that I so desperately seeked for some odd reason. I quietly mounted the steps and there he was, curled up against the church, covered in rags and old newspapers. "Is someone there?" The voice jarred me out of my stupor and called my attention to the moving heap in front of me. His faced popped out of the newspapers and I watched as he felt around in front of him. It was then that I realized this man was blind, and my heart ached for him. I took a deep breath and moved forward, kneeling down in front of him. I opened my mouth, but nothing seemed to be coming out. I stuttered for a moment and finally found my voice. "Hi, I know this may sound weird but, I was sitting across the street last night at Joe's and I heard you calling out to the people coming out of the church. I see you here every year and I was Just wondering why you stay here and why you call to the people." A slow smile crept across his craggy face and he chuckled hoarsely. "Yes, I have been here for quite some time," he thought for a moment. "This is my home, right here under God's refuge. Ever since I was a small child I have been blind, but there was something I could always see. The light, the one that always flickers once lit, and burns so bright that no one could turn away. It is so warm and inviting, and the few that have it can share it with others, but as you can see by looking at the world today, not many invite that flame to live inside them. No one has ever shared their light with me, but yet it has been a long time since I have ever seen anyone who has the true light anyways.
No one sees the true meaning of why we have Christmas anymore. The true reason any of us have anything at all is because of God, the one who provides." A small tear rolled down his face as he took a deep breath and buried his head between his knees. I put my hand to my face and noticed that I also was crying, crying for this man, but also for myself How could anyone be so passionate about something so as to spend their whole life looking for the answers they are seeking? And why does it take something like this for people to realize that there is more to life than having everything and forgetting from where it comes? As I made my way back to my car, I took in all of my surroundings. The smell of the pine trees and gingerbread, and the sound of people laughing as they exchange gifts; and I think to myself that I am going to be okay.
Even though I feel that I am alone, sitting in front of my fake Christmas tree every year, dreaming for there to be presents for someone other than my cat, there is always someone there with me. There is light, the light that fills people with good hearts and a humble spirit. People that understand that Christmas isn't just about how many presents you're going to get, but the people you share it with and the spirit that you spread to everyone, not just people you know. I want that light within myself, and I hope that other people read my story and realize that they need that light too. Merry Christmas...
Warm Christmas for Everyone
By MICHAEL MCCOLGAN, age 13
In the mist of soft, falling snowflakes and white, painted scenery lived a town called Bustling, and bustle it did. Every Christmas people were busy but helped only themselves. They watched caringly and lovingly over their own fragile lives, hoping that their lives would work perfectly, and as long as they did, what more did they need? The homeless went hungry next to mansions where people fed themselves stuffed. The poor waited, begging for silvery coins as people came and went, spending their money on nothings that they would never use. Some sat inside with rosy cheeked faces, while others sat outside, cold with frost bitten noses. Some people went to sleep on soft mattresses, dreaming of diamonds and cars to come that following Christmas morning. Others curled shivering onto a pile of soft fresh snow thinking what a far-away dream it would be to have something they could wake up to.
So many people wanted things that others needed. The short lived pleasure some people got from extravagant gifts could have been turned into a lifetime of happiness if they had given it to someone who really needed it. In a world where joy and suffering happened in the same place, if every person had spread more joy to the suffering, all people would have only had joy, and soon Bustling would have had a warm Christmas for everyone.
Elf Named Eve
By JONI YOUNG, age 15
Once upon a time there was an elf named Eve. Eve was the smallest elf at the North Pole. Everywhere you looked there where elves scurrying around getting ready for Christmas. There are many last minute details to be finished. Wrapping the gifts and getting them into Santa's magical, polishing Santa's sleigh and getting the reindeer through their training.
Well, back to Eve. Everyone was running around doing their jobs and Eve was feeling left out and sad. She decided to go to her special place. It was a cave that she thought no one else knew about and she started to cry. She asked herself, "Why do I have to be so small?" All of a
sudden she heard a voice as sweet as candy. It was Santa. He asked Eve why she was all alone and crying. She told him she was tired of being small and getting pushed around. Then Santa said to her," No matter how bad things get, there is always going to be someone worse off than you." Eve looked up at Santa with her big tear-filled eyes. She just couldn't imagine things being any worse.
Santa took Eve by the hand and said, "follow me." He led her to a big door and told her not to tell anyone of this place. Eve promised not to tell a single soul and they walked in. Eve looked around but all she saw was a table, two chairs and what appeared to be a round rock sitting on the table. Eve asked Santa what the rock was for. Santa told Eve to come and sit down beside him and take a closer look. This time when she looked at the rock, it appeared to become cloudy and the face of a little boy shown through. Santa said his name was Jonathon. He had lost his mother and father when he was 5 years old. Now he was living on the streets. No one knew if he had any other family. He was truly all alone.
Eve sat back and thought about what she had seen. She really didn't have it so bad at the North Pole. After all the hustle and bustle of Christmas there was an elf appreciation day. They would all get together and play games and eat lots of goodies. That day was a lot of fun. But Jonathon probably didn't have any of that to look forward to.
Eve jumped to her tiny elfin feet and ran out the door. "Eve, where are you going?" Santa shouted. Eve replied, "No time to chit chat Santa, I've got things to do."
Eve rushed over to the workshop and started on a project. Soon Santa came along to see what Eve was up to. "I'm making Jonathon a special gift, it's a Bear of Many Colors," Eve told Santa. "This way Jonathon will always have somebody to hug him and he will never be alone." Santa asked Eve if she would like to deliver it herself. "That would be wonderful," she said.
Up, up and away they exclaimed as they took off for their special night, and to all it truly was a good night.
A Christmas Story
by HANNAH ALLEN, 13
The stable -- it was dark and cold until the babe was born...the cows and sheep were sound asleep...but suddenly a sound -- the sound was not the wind that blew, nor was it the inn next door. The sound was a little cry coming from a baby that had just been born...
Then there was a light, coming down from heaven, a huge star shining bright in the sky...As the mother laid the child in the manger down to rest, she started crying and Joseph smiled because they knew this was Jesus Christ.
Some shepherds, they were sleeping on the ground that was so cold, when an angel came and woke them and told them of this sight so bold -- the shepherds were trembling when the Angel spoke of Him -- a baby boy in Bethlehem that is to be praised by them...
Not far away in a land so old, some wise men were on a journey. Sitting on the camels so high they looked upon the star -- suddenly they knew that the Christ was born and wonder filled their hearts.
That evening, the star still shining bright, the Shepherds came to the stable and looked at the Lord Jesus lying in a manger that night...And later, the wise men came and worshiped Him, giving Him gifts of gold, memories Mary kept and treasured until she was very old...
And even though this story is also a little old...the meaning is still just as new -- that Jesus really was born and He died for me and you...
The Best Christmas Ever
by ASHLEY BOCK, age 13
"YES! We did it. We won the light contest," said my mom.
"We did? That is so awesome. What did we win?" I said.
"We won a $100 gift certificate for Herberger's, $500 worth of lights, and get this, we won five boxes of caramels. Mmmmm. That sounds like a fine prize to me."
"Sounds good to me too."
All night we stood by the fireplace staring at the clock praying that it will strike midnight soon. Why? Because tomorrow is Christmas. Oh, I can't wait to open all of my presents!
The second we knew it was Christmas we all fell asleep. We were as dead as a doornail. Finally at about 8:00 a.m., we woke up. Right away we got dressed into our finest clothes. Then my mom and my sisters Jenessa, Jessica, and Lora helped me set up the snacks including cheese, crackers, fudge, nut goody bars, salami, carrots, celery, chips and dip, and all of the sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies and M & M cookies. Mmmmm, did they look tasty. Then once all of that was done we put all of the presents under the Christmas tree. Every year we had a buddy who we would buy a present for, but of course we all have different people. This year my buddy was my little sister Lora, 3. I had bought her a baby doll with a stroller, and I also got her some fake food to go with her play kitchen at home. I knew she would like that. My oldest sister, Jessica, 15, had me for her buddy.
"Alright, kids, time to get ready to go to church," said my mom. Even if it was noon and church didn't start until four we had to go and pick up one more thing at Menard's for my stepdad, Dave. Even if that didn't take that long we needed to get good seats in church so we could all sit as a family. So once we had picked up the gift for Dave, which was a dehydrator for making beef jerky, at Menard's, we left for church. Then at only about 1:00, I shouted out to my mom:
"MOM, WATCH OUT FOR THE DEER!"
My mom had just missed a deer that ran right in front of her, but while doing so, with such slippery roads, we slid off into the ditch right into a tree.
"Is everyone alright?" my mom asked.
"Yeah," we all said at once.
Ruhmuhmrhum, the engine roared as we tried starting it back up again.
"Well, there goes Christmas," Dave said.
"Don't give up, we'll find a way to get home. Do you guys have the cell phone? Never mind, here it is."
"Hello?" said Kelsie, one of my best friends.
"Hey, this is Ashley. We just got into an accident and we crashed into a tree. We're in the middle of town. Do you think you could come and get us?"
"Kelsie is on her way," I said to my mom.
"Okay," she replied.
We had to wait about a half hour before finally Kelsie arrived. We had her bring us to our church, and since they went to the same one we invited them to sit by us. So we sat in church for about an hour then when mass was over we chatted with relatives and friends. While I was talking to Kelsie she had told me how their heater had broken down. So I went to ask my mom if it would be alright if they had Christmas at our house. She had said that would be a terrific idea. So we quick stopped by at their house and picked up everyone's presents and snacks, then we went to my house.
Once we had arrived we went straight downstairs. We had looked to see what was inside our stockings. Santa had given us all candy, a mug that had our name on it, and make up and lotion for the girls, and socks and a hat for the boys. Then we went and opened up all of our presents. My favorite was the drum set I had received. It was so cool.
The rest of the night we played with our new stuff and munched on all of the snacks we could think of. Oh, how fun it was. I wouldn't do anything to change it.
The next morning my sisters Jessica and Jenessa and I went to my dad's house to open up the presents there. When we arrived there, there was a bazillion presents. And, of course, there I had a favorite toy, actually I had two. The first one was a digital camcorder, and the second one was a telephone. That Christmas had become to be the best Christmas ever. At least in my opinion.
At both of my parents' houses, I had a great time with fun, laughter, presents, relatives, snacks, of course, with my family. I am afraid to admit it, but his is the end of my story.
"Merry Christmas, you guys."
"Merry Christmas to you too, Ashley," said my dad and Terry.
Away In A Cradle
By JILLIAN RINDE, 13
Away in a cradle, no room for the bed,
Little baby Millie laid down her sweet head.
The glistening moon shines bright from the sky,
And little baby Millie laid down with a sigh.
No food in the cupboard, No milk in the Fridge,
Poor little Millie is starting to shive.
I love thee, Little Millie, and want you to grow.
So help me, Lord Jesus, cause I need to know.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, as I go on my way
Bringing food and clothing and nice things to say.
Bless all the little Millies I ask thee today,
Guide and protect them and help them I pray.
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