Writers Corner for December 21, 2012

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WHOSE BIRTHDAY IS IT ANYWAY?

Now it all begins. The Christmas decorations and displays in retail stores before Halloween was even here. It used to start after Thanksgiving and 'Black Friday' is still the "traditional" start of holiday shopping. Then retailers started gearing up even before we've given thanks for our Pilgrimage heritage and rich blessings.

Of course, retailers have long counted on the holidays to pull their businesses through another year. We always hear projections of what retail sales will be, depending on whether the economy is recovering or faltering. Christmas, it seems, is a "make it" or "break it" time for the economy. Some retailers do 75 percent of their annual business during the Christmas season.

I wonder. Did the businesses of Bethlehem make huge profits on the birth of Christ on that Christmas day a couple thousand years ago? Was there a sudden urge to run down to the market place and buy everyone a gift? I don't think so.

We wonder how we are going to pay for those Christmas bills after we have given until it hurts. The charge cards are maxed out, the bank account bottomed out and those who are unable to do as much as this or that person. But then people are often judged by the gifts they give or can't give.

The Christmas spirit is all too often gone as soon as the packages are opened. Christ had a gift for us: life in heaven when our life on earth has ended. Santa Claus brings the earthly gifts. Jesus gives the perfect gift.

- Ruth Swanson, Coeur d'Alene

•••

THE CHRISTMAS CHILD

When I was just a little child

I somehow always knew,

The story of the Christmas child

Was mysterious but true.

Though hard for me to understand

I knew that deep within,

God sent his only Son to earth

To bring us back to him.

Our sin has separated us,

From sin we must be free,

To come into God's holiness

For all eternity.

So Christmas day God sent his Son

As the Savior of All men,

He shed his blood upon a cross

To cleanse us from our sin.

The after death he rose again

With victory for us all,

So we may live in Heaven with him

If on his name we call.

Now I've grown a little older,

Had some time to think it through,

I'm convinced now more than ever

That it's absolutely true.

How I love the Christmas story,

Let me hear it once again,

The one about the Christmas child

Who takes away our sin.

- Glenna Fox, Coeur d'Alene

•••

A DANGEROUS CHASE

A young man went out into the world

It was greatness that he hoped to find

But as life's pressures 'round him swirled

Those dreams crumbled in his mind

Dejected by the "hand life dealt"

Our friend's thoughts did begin to waver

And because great failure he had felt

He hoped that drugs would be his savior

"Just numb it all" he told himself

As the needle slipped inside his vein

He felt he fought the world itself

For all that remained was pain

He had lost both family and health

Whilst success had been his chief endeavor

But loss of job meant loss of wealth

And he was without all earthly treasure

He passed out one night beside the road

And did not awake again on earth

Could anyone have his end foretold?

What would that warning have been worth?

The tragic end of this man's life

Should cause each man to pause

What do I value in my life?

What has been my greatest cause?

Will I come to the end and find

That all I've lived for is but naught?

To what has been my heart inclined?

What sort of treasure have I sought?

You see when all is said and done

Our temporal things won't matter

But when our chiefest treasure is the Son

We have a wealth that will not shatter

- Will Dole, Plummer

•••

Send us your original poems, prose, essays and anecdotes.

The Press Writers Corner features original, creative writing submitted by our readers. We publish the column most Fridays in the North Idaho Life section of the print edition of The Press.

Send your Writers Corner submissions to Maureen Dolan, mdolan@cdapress.com.

We prefer email submissions, and ask that you limit the length of your short stories, essays and poems. Please include your hometown with your submission.

You can send hard-copies by mail to Maureen Dolan at The Press, 201 Second St., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814.

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