The post-Christmas story…..

After wondering how to explain American Christmas to some young Buddhist refugees, I had decided I just wouldn’t bring it up and would leave it to other people who were probably wiser than I was.  I’m glad I didn’t leave it at that.  I was touched by how the story unfolded in their eyes as I tried to explain….

Our young friends asked us why their friends had a Christmas tree.  Rich explained what a  “tradition” is, and compared it to some of the ones in their country they were familiar with (like the water tossing festival).  Then one of them asked about the Nativity scene ornament on the tree….”What does that mean?”

So I told them about a poor family who lived a long time ago, in a country where the government oppressed the people (they know that word).   The government told this family they had to go on a journey to another town, even if they didn’t have much money to do it, and even though Mary was very very pregnant.  (They had been following the pregnancy of our daughter and subsequent events over the last few months).  Riding a donkey did not sound comfortable and they understood that this would not be an easy journey.  I explained that the city was very full and that the rooms in the “motels” had been taken already by those who had money or who had come earlier.  I explained that Mary and Joseph ended up in the stable with the animals through the kindness of someone who did not turn them away……

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