Read and Stay Warm

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!! It’s been rather frigid lately, and I really am not a fan of cold weather unless I can stay in by the fire. Unfortunately, my children were not blessed with a snow queen for a mom. No, I am the type who enjoys snow and winter weather from inside the house, not the one who is as giddy as the kids ready to bundle in snowsuits and boots. However, I was usually waiting with hot chocolate and a book when they came in to warm up. It seemed that about every other year in December or January we were ready to read (re-read) the same book. Can you guess what it was?

I do not recall reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books as a child, but when my oldest son was in Kindergarten I began reading them aloud. This became a family tradition, each year that there was a kindergartener in the house I read the series one book after another. I would usually read some during the day as well as a chapter or so before bedtime. It was not unusual for the older kids to check out the book from the school library so they didn’t miss the adventures that were read during the day.

The timing seemed perfect that we were often reading The Long Winter, when the north winds blew arctic air across our plains. I would often sit right in front of the woodstove as I read. Some how reading about the blizzards, ice on the water bucket, nearly running out of food, and knowing how poorly the houses were built, made me cold. Oh, the sweet memories. 

My kids are grown and gone; Little House books sit idly on the shelf, and my sweet pooch gives me a pleading look as if to say, “Pleeeeeeeeeeeease come romp in the snow with me?”

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Have you ever wondered what the weather was like while Joseph and Mary Great-with-Child were traveling to Bethlehem? What about the stable, was it warm and cozy with sweet barn smells, or was it drafty, dusty and musty waking up sinuses producing multiple sneezes? If it was cold, did they have a warm fire to sit, sleep, and give birth next to? Some questions of the very first Christmas, may not be known, but there is plenty of detail we can read. Whether you have children at home, or think you have the Christmas story learned inside and out from yearly repetition, take time to read it again. Read it with awe and wonder as if it is the first time. Read it slowly absorbing the message of love throughout the events surrounding the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The next few days are supposed to remain cold through much of our country, so pull up a chair, snuggle in a blanket, or sit next to the fire with a Bible and read this wonderful story. Probably the most familiar account is found in Luke 2, but you can also read it in Matthew 1.

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