Christmas in the Deep South

This evening about 7:30 Sikki and the kids went caroling around the neighborhood, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to the people who live on our road. I felt sad to not be with them, but I am still struggling to breathe and cannot sing very well right now. I can’t even carry on a conversation without getting raspy. I took the new puppy (whom I have nicknamed “Turdbunk”) outside to go potty and I could hear the neighbors clapping for my wife and childrens’ singing. Our nearest neighbor is a widow who lost her husband of 40-some years this summer: she especially seemed to be blessed by my family’s visit.

Sikki told me this evening that she enjoys hearing my voice, which surprised me because like most people I hate the sound of my own voice. I would like to go caroling next year and perhaps invite some other believers to go with us. Caroling is a way to remind the heartsick and lonely and dying and ourselves that Jesus loves and came to this earth to provide a way of escape and an abundant life.

While they were gone I laid on the couch and watched the 1970 musical version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which was made in London and starred Albert Finney as Scrooge. That is my favorite version of the classic story, though I know the critics lambasted the film.

When they came home Catherine suggested we go to the beach. I liked that idea so when Scrooge was over we left, around 9:15. There is a full moon tonight and it was low tide and it is an unseasonably warm Christmas Eve, so the walk was balmy and quiet. We brought both dogs and let them off their leashes so they could run. I also attempted to jog for several intervals. I got winded very fast and coughed quite a lot, but it felt good to run with my bare feet in the cold surf under the stars. After the beach walk, we went to the Holden Beach pavilion and relaxed, looking at the dimples and ripples of the Intracoastal Waterway for a while. I went to one of the boat launches and rocked the dock with all my effort, scaring little Winston and the dogs, and almost deservedly falling off the edge into the black water.

Everyone had a good time and then we came home to eat cheese ball and crackers and cold cuts for a snack. It is now 11:45 P.M. and I am thinking of calling this day quits. God has blessed me beyond my ability to comprehend since I don’t deserve Him, His love, or His many blessings.


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