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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 25, 2006
He is rich or poor according to what he is, Not according to what he has. - Henry Ward Beecher
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn't yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store. Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last minute shoppers jammed the aisles.
Why did I come today? I wondered. My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names of several people who claimed they wanted nothing but I knew their feelings would be hurt if I didn't buy them anything.
Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift buying anything but fun.
Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20 minute wait.
In front of me were two small children a boy of about 5 and a younger girl. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands.
The girl's clothing resembled her brother's. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face. She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system, the girl hummed along, off key but happily.
When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.
The clerk rang up the bill. "That will be $6.09," she said.
The boy laid his crumpled dollars atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. "I guess we will have to put them back, " he bravely said. "We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow."
With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. "But Jesus would have loved these shoes, " she cried.
"Well, we'll go home and work some more. Don't cry. We'll come back," he said.
Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas.
Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, "Thank you lady."
"What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?" I asked.
The boy answered, "Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus."
The girl spoke, "My teacher at church said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes. Won't mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?"
My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. "Yes" I answered, " I am sure she will."
Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving."
Submitted by Gary Wimer and Aileen M. Gallagher
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Twas the night before Christmas and all through each state,
Coast Guard families were starting to celebrate.
Just then from the white House came an urgent call,
A crisis had arisen that would affect one and all.
In fact the U.S. State Department was frantic,
For Santa Claus had just landed in the Atlantic!
It Was foggy as ever; Rudolph had made a blunder.
Santa, sleigh, and eight reindeer were going under.
Though the stockings were hung by the chimneys with care.
Poor Santa gurgled, "I'll never get there."
When what to his wondering eye should appear;
But some coast guard cutters with their rescue gear!
The officers and crew were so lively and quick;
Sure was a lucky break for good ole Saint Nick.
With a nod from the captain. they went right to work.
Rudolph was embarrassed, he felt like a jerk.
Poor Santa was soggy, but as anyone could see,
He was very grateful to the U.S.C.G!
And we heard him exclaim as they towed him from sight,
"If it weren't for age and weight, I'd enlist Tonight!"
Source: Cybersalt Digest, http://www.cybersalt.org/
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
I went to spend part of Christmas day with my son. Shortly after I arrived and all the greetings had been made, I picked up my young granddaughter and we spent a few minutes together looking around at all the decorations.
When we spotted the nativity scene, I asked her if she knew what it was.
"Yes," she replied with a mixture of awe and fear in her voice. "It's breakable!"
Source: Mark Mail, http://mrhumor.net/
How great is the Great Wall?
In size, materials, and human labor, the Great Wall of China is the largest construction project ever undertaken by man. Enough stone was used in the 1,700-year project to build an 8-foot wall girdling the globe at the equator. The Great Wall snakes its way over more than one-twentieth of the earth's circumference.
Source: ArcaMax - Trivia, http://tinyurl.com/9kf44