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That Was the Day Christmas Changed For Me


I KNOW THOSE ELK ARE LAUGHING AT ME

I’m sitting here reflecting back on Christmas of the past. The movie A Christmas Story comes to mind for me since I can still remember the sights of the stores lighting up and the celebrations in the streets. I can also remember the special Christmas presents that you really wanted like the Red Rider BB Gun!

Those memories would have been from the early 1960’s for me. One of the things that always stood out for me at Christmas time was sharing time with family. Because of being an Army family, often our immediate family was all we had of our family but there were all those single men in the Army that always seemed to find family at our house. (I remember one time sharing a 25 pound turkey and not having a scrap of meat on the bones! We had 25 guests that year!)

After I left home and was on my own, I always managed to make it home for Christmas. Then, there was the Christmas of 1985. That was the day Christmas changed for me. 

Christmas day, December 25, 1985,   I was climbing a mountain on the back side of Pikes Peak. This was the first Christmas that I felt completely alone. I was leasing a ranch house that only had a wood burning stove for heat. I moved in December 1st and there was not even a stick left from the previous tenants. Not only did I need 10 chords of wood cut and split for the winter but if the fire was out too long, the water would freeze! I could not go away!

So, with nothing else to do but enjoy the Great Outdoors, on December 25, 1985, I set out to climb one of the hills off the back of Pikes Peak. At the time, I was doing a lot of Wildlife Photography and I was out to spend some time with a herd of Elk. As I climbed thru snow up to my thighs, I could see the elk up ahead. With them noticing me, I ducked into the trees and attempted to climb around them so I could come back out at there elevation.

Each time I came back to the opening, the elk had climbed higher. After the third attempt, I could see they were waiting for me to pop out again! My thoughts ran thru my head but the predominate one was this: “I know those elk are laughing at me!”

IN SEARCH OF CHRISTMAS

Although it wasn’t something special, Christmas day, December 25, 1985 was the day Christmas changed for me.

Everything lives in a balance. We are often given the opportunity to maintain that balance or correct it if it is off. When I search for the meaning of Christmas, one of the thoughts that pop into my head is the Charlie Brown Christmas movie. This movie and this particular segment where Linus explains the meaning of Christmas has been talked about in all imaginable conversations.

Christmas day, December 25, 1985, was remarkable for me because I opened other doors that I did not know were closed. Although by this time, I had spent a lot of time in the wilds of Colorado, I never felt so close to nature as that day. This drove my appreciation of everything around me to a deeper level.

I hope you will also find a deeper meaning of Christmas that can carry you thru your life journeys.

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