Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 23, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
It's in the CARDS [Christmas I.E.] Greetings Often Say More Persona! Things by Granville McGee BY THEIR CARDS, ye snail knew them, maybe. A Christ- mas card often expresses more than vrishes for the holiday. It can also reveal something about the sender. "Many sociologists feel Christmas cards reflect the sender's lifestyle, either con- sciously or says Dan Drake, editor of Hallmark Cards, leading publisher of holiday greetings. "A card certainly reflects the sender's taste, because you don't send a card you dislike." But more than taste and personal choice are involved, Take price. Last Christinas, Americans mailed 2.5 billion cards that cost from five cents to five dollars apiece. From these, a newly-arrived executive, for instance, may feel tot an expensive card is "in keeping" with his increased It's a case of reverse snobbery when a sender established standing selects a very simple card so that he will not be classified with the nouveau riche, SO PRICE can be a conscious motive, depending on what sort of impression the sender seeks to make. Then there is theme. "If I send a card with a Madonna and Child on it, you might conclude that I'm says Drake, "but if I send one with a Christmas tree, what can you figure? Very littlfc." Many persons feel very strongly about Christmas being a religious holiday. They re' the commercialism that surrounds fhe celebration, and feel that a Nativity card is one way of reversing the trend. On the opposite end of this con- troversy are those who, because of personal beliefs or a fear of offending non-Christians, will only send a card that says season's greetings or happy mention of Christmas, in category are the UNICF.F cu-us, one of which, showing a Dove of Peace, has been a runaway best-seller. Everyone may not on hew to acht-y.'e bit who's not for it? THERE ARE HUMOROUS CARDS, Santa Clauses, snow scenes, palm trees (for those in a warm climate) and other non- commlttal themes. The non- committal sender may be concealing some facet or personality or is not always true, of course. Plenty of people just like snov? scenes. A substantial five ftr cent'.'. all cards feature photographs oc the sender's children, a pst, his home, himself, or the whote family. Ask a sociologist about the clue here, and he may cita pride in possession, a desire to relate to friends, or a streak of individuality. WHO RECEIVES CARDS FROM This is another revealing point. In ad-Jition to the reciprocal greetings, cards are sent or received for reasons that involve business or social considerations. Currying favor is an old Yule tradi'ion. More than JO million fsrrvill'S In the United their cares, ar.d then begin to receive a third of which will corne from, senders whose names were not on original list So there's a second mailing, and right on schedule, a day after Christmas, a few cards arrive torn forgotten friends. A card was received from 4 Scotsman recently, a very design in purple and electric the sentiment printed in Hungarian, '.'ow hers was a card to analyze. When asked why he. had chosen this) particular card, he said: ''Well, actually, I got a hundred of them for 75 per cent off last January." daij Christmas 1 y JIM BISHOP, reporter and columnist, has been acclaimed for Ejr h 5 toon, "The Day Christ Died." His research for that led him lo IJ Bethlehem, and from his notes, he M tells us of the first Christmas and w ho.v it may have been. y y y "JHE night was chill and clear. At nine o'clock the town of Bethlehem slept. The inn, on the east side of a muddy cluster cf buildings on the main Jerusalem- A'.c-xandria read, sat on the edge of a thick wedge of dark soil and limestone.The back of the inn hung over E small sheer valley where sheep clustered in the dark. Alonr; horizon halo one could see the dark depression of the Dead Sea and in the light of the constellations overhead the Mountains of Moab looked like broken teeth in a badly used The travelers v. ho now .snored in the big main room had heard about the wor-.ian who was in the cave below. Who hadn't? I ier husband had locked so pathetic that even the grim traders had been moved but not into giving up their room at the inn. JOSEPH saw a tiny head, smaller than his fist. It was an awkward situation. Normally there weren't more thanaih--.-u-.and people in lictbiehem. In the time Kin? David it had been a great and renowned city but the children of David had moved north six miles to Jerusalem and Solomon had built the temple there and it had become the metropolis cf Judea. Bethlehem wast now a way station. But tonightthe inn was jammed with people who had heen born here. Caesar Augustus had ordered a census of all the people of his inhabitable world, and that in- cluded the small province of Palestine, which was a spar on the hoot of the larger province of .Syria. To i.'-ake S'Jre that no person would be counted twice, ail heads r.f families tad been ordered lo return to the city ci their fathers. Joseph had arrived and when he came into the inn he fed glanced worriedly at the dir.ers, the dozing children and crying babies, and he had whispered with the proprietor. Joseph's wifcsatculside the door on the familiar yray donkey. She was going to have a baby, She slumped, ha on knees, head lowered in thought, her snowy Galilean veil .snapping in the night breeze. one cared. No one here ted ever beard of either of them. He had proclaimed that he was Joseph the carpenter, of Nazareth. Well, Nazareth was far to the r.onh, a place cf simple rustics. If the carpenter had hsen wities-, enough to haul a pregnant wife on a jouncy donkey mere than a hundred miles over the white- liir.id'road-. well, let him take his wife to the cave below. J here were two trails down to the cave. They began en either side of the inn and they sloped down to the east about 25 feet. There, in the front of the wedged hill, had been dug rat of the soft limestone. In it were: oov.s, some donkeys, a few camels belonging to transients and tethered tight to keep them from nip- ping at sf.eep fowl who at large. Joseph to Mary and said that he was Eorry '.''.I-.', thtre '.'-as no room at the inn. He led her and tr edcrkr-v fiowr. one of the frails in sorrow. This was to I'- her firit child h'; felt that he ted failed her. All that was the necessity of privacy and the lordliness of pain. In hr loving. was the world's most precious burden and the tiinehad come to give 'ois to thc; morriini- sun. The donkey dov.n, ears flapping .silently, about 2f.O feet along the sloping trail. If Joseph ted raised bead he might have seen the huge blue-white star now coming up over the Moab Mountains. But Joseph was watching his footing. Only the shepherds on the opposite hill, and some wise men over near Jericho, watched and wondered. Inside the cave, lo the left, was an empty rnangcr. Outside, the temperature was chilly. Inside, the brealh andbodies of so many animals warmed the air. Joseph helped his teen-age wife to the floor. He looked at her in nrale helplessness but when she started to open a huge parcel of white cottons, he helped. He cleaned out the manger and he went out and got water from the well. Mary worked at the things which had to be done as- though she had been doing ihem for years. All through her pregnancy she had followed the old Jewish laws. She had taken no hot baths for fear of miscarriage. She had avoided green vegetables, salt food and fat, although the same law ordered her to eat salt, fish and mustard seeds, the time Joseph returned, Mary had more work for him. She wanted a fire built outside the mouth of the cave and she gave Joseph one of her big earthenware pots for heating water. For the time, she issued the orders; he obeyed. She also knew, from the time that she had seen sheep in the cave, that shepherds wero near and part of Joseph's duties would be to keep them outside. Joseph went outside, a fretful man building a fire but not thinking about a Sire, and perhaps spilling some of the water in his nervousness, his cars sharp for the cry of hiswiie, his murmured appeals directed to Yahweh. He tod worried about her because before they had been married, Mary had been radiant with the joy of expectant motherhood and, had he pleased, Joseph could have been freed of his marital vows by exposing her. But an angel had come to him and had said: "Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wiie, for .that which is conceived in her is of the vAnd It Came to Pass in. Those Days, That There Went Out a Decree from Caesar Augustus... Holy Ghost And she shall bring forth a Eon; End thou shall call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins." had remembered well the word of the ancient prophet who, speaking with the revelation of God himself, had said: "Behold a virgin shall be with child and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Now he watched the water simmer and steam and hia hands shock with the knowledge of many things. The star was high and brighter than ever when he heard Mary call bis name softly, if she had been troubled by all this knowledge she had not shown it. From before the time of their marriage she had managed this great event with competence. He hurried inside, stopped in recollection of the hot water, started back out, then hurried back in without the water. Joseph had to see first that his wife was all right. She sat leaning against the manger, bundle of white cotton cloth and some linen couched in her arms. Joseph lurried to her side ami looked down the mountain of cloth. In it he saw a tiny head, smaller than hU fist. It had wet black hair, red skin, eyes squinted tight against the feeble light of the oil lamps on the wall, the head jerking silently from side to side as though trying to negate the hard things which lay ahead. The weak light made Mary look older, fatigued. She locked up at her husband and, as new mothers have been doing since the dawn of civilization, she smiled up at her man. He kept looking in awe at the liny flickering fbrne of life and he fell lo bis knees. She! a moment, understanding the towering con- fusion in his rnin'J and (hen, ever so genfly, reminded him of the water. Here, too, she foilowcd the prescribed ritual, which to Iirstwrap the child in swaddling clothes, then to bathe him in warm water, then lo massage his back and his chest with salt. As a male baby, he would bt circumcised on Ihc eighth day. His name, she Yritild be Jesus, which means Saviour, and some day he would be called The Christ, which means Messiah. Joseph brought the water and he watched the first bathing of his foster-son. The motherly hands rubt" the salt in slowly and gently and for the first time ths infant cried. Alter this: the first feeding tfw Ewcct warm rnilk given in love from mother to child. The animals in their stails blinked in silence. jfllE new baby was in tho manger, sleeping with ona tiny fist up beside his head, when Joseph heard peopls outside the cave. So much tad happened in one night. All he asked was to be alone with his family. Joseph was prepared to ask the strangers to respect the privacy of his wife and new-born son. It was shepherds. But they had not come for their sheep. They were excited beyond intelligence and all tried to speak at once. They had been on (he bills keeping the night watch End they had seen this great star and, in wonderment, had been talking about it when their eyes had been blinded by tho vision of an angel of the who stood above them. They had thrown their cloaks over their heads in fear. And the angel had said: "Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy that shail be to all people; for this day is born to you a Saviour who is Christ tha Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall iind the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger." They had uncovered SHEPHERDS were blinded by vision of an angel. their eyes in time to see the angel surrounded by a whole heaven full of angels, all singing "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will." Joseph listened and his wonderment, far from diminishing, increased. He-spoke to his wife about It and she asked him to admit the men. They carne in, rough of hand and soiled of skin, and they looked and they fell to their knees. Mary listened in silence to words if. adoration and she said nothing. She too began to ponck-r the new truths. For a moment, she ted be'en happy in the knowledge that sbo had her own baby. This, in it-self, is a joy to tha heart. But now, at sight cf these .strangers on their knees, she knew that this was more than her baby. ThJ was This was her God. This was the Messiah had been promised to the world; this was God and the Son of God, the creator of heaven and earth anJ who had created her just ar> she had helped to creata his earthly manifestation. She thought about it for a long lime. The Wise Men from the east were still on their way to the little stabla in the cave when Mary resolved her problem. Sha decided that if she kept reminding herself of Ilia Divinity she would be perpetually abject before him end thus she would turnout to be a poor mother Indeed. So she looked down at him, still sleeping, the fist new trying tojarninto the tinyrnoutb, and she decided to be long as it was possible, to look upon hirn as just a helpless bsby who needed, above all other things, a loving mother. Graders Reveal: What illir a Child Shall Lead Them, CHitl.ST.MAS is fr.r children, the of Chri-trnss, sr.-l or so many the holiday n, perhaps hei.-.g r.i.v: ;ears old n ar.d eyes. just a'oont tr.e perfect ?'ourth graders' i.-, Corpus "Christmas rr.esns to rr.e Christi when Jevjs v.as f.ai-1 A: "And It also means clean falling from the sky. "And -waking up "in the sho going outside stbing in r.ic': cold air. 'And seeing snow men ;ying .so and still. 'And that's what Christmas listening to God's Christmas means "getting all the things you want." Aprile Antionora wishes for "one Christmas- I could give everybody z present." Richard Vertig says: "I like the presents you get from .Santa." Cynfha Festa sees Christmas 6s joyful day with lots of arid James Raleigh M l- oh-ert Krek, there is of hells, cars riding this is a 1 school, Mass wan rit in the children's Cioe'.i, tr.i tion i-S for "our or.iy Son o! thft hert Godfrey knows that to '.hurrh recalls "we had a snowball fight." C'amille Karnotilsoi enjoys "putting up a anrl Theresa Hopkins likes to "exchange gifts like the Wise Men did." listens for "happy shouts of ?'or KlizaMh McGeo, the holiday recalls that "Christ taucht us the goodne'S of Cod and how to love each other." Cathy J-add calls it "a time of and Bemadette Power stresses that it means "making others happy." Robert Mailev likf-i the "presente, joy and RobertHartnettstci "the world filled with and Klien Visilante warns "never be selfish." "Wonderful parents" a; e Kerch's gift, and "no school" pleases Jacqueline Pellegrino. James Diverio remembers that day when "people come from old friends and cousins. How on earth can anyo.ni not be happy on what I go'.! what I are the favorite words of jiirrholas then, John liutto mrcmbers that "on Christmas Kve at ]2 o'clock, a certain person comes." Ar.d thai takes !n almost the whole class of fourth graders. Put ail these sentiments together, and they paint a clear picture of a hippy Christmas, as it: ho-ild he.