THE “W” IN CHRISTMAS

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 16, 1994

Last December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations – extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row- center stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W”. The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

“C H R I S T W A S L O V E”

And, I believe, He still is.

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35 comments
  1. Bob said:

    Thanks for the post “Merry Christmas”
    “The Love of Christ, the miracle, Jesus.”

  2. Used this story just last week at an event. It is a sweet message, and an easy story to tell. I already had it in my file for some reason; don’t know where I picked it up.

  3. What a lovely story. I absolutely loved it. Loved it. And the twist at the end just made me smile.

  4. Reblogged this on Morning Story and Dilbert and commented:

    Please enjoy this Christmas reblog. My wife and her sister are singing songs of praise to our Heavenly Father as we watch my mother inlaw slowly journey into eternity… Take care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  5. mdetweiler said:

    Thank you. This is a beautiful reminder of the reason for the season.

  6. mdetweiler said:

    Reblogged this on Isn't Enough Blog and commented:
    beautiful reminder of the reason for the season …

  7. cg said:

    Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
    I bet that little girl put a smile on Jesus’ Holy Face for all eternity; lighting up heaven and the hearts of us on earth, as well. Merry Christmass!

  8. awax1217 said:

    The circle of life is more obtuse. The end is justified but the memories linger. May there be good memories of your loved one.

  9. Reblogged this on The Mermaid Swims… Strait Way to New and commented:
    Children are some of the best gifts of Christmas! Thank you for this reminder. Oh, remember, remember. How oft hath the Good Shepherd gathered His sheep, even as a hen gathereth her chicks under her wing? When you can’t handle the holidays….put on Handel’s “Messiah” and sing along!….ha ha. Merry Christwas! Christis!

  10. pj said:

    My dad went to heaven on Christmas Day in 1992. Feelings still abound. Best part: I know I’ll see him again. Praise God. Praying for you and your family! I shared your reblog. Thanks so much!

  11. Becky said:

    Beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and your family….I trust that you will feel the peace and comfort that only our Lord and Savior gives during difficult times.

  12. atimetoshare said:

    I love this story. Thank you for sharing it.

  13. Teresa said:

    Reblogged this on todaysgoodlife and commented:
    A simple message for a hectic time. The only thing I would add is that Christ IS love still today. Enjoy….

  14. Teresa said:

    Reblogged on todaysgoodlife.com. A beautiful and simple message for a hectic time of year. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Wow, what a great testimony to the love of Jesus Christ. Out of the mouths of babes, and the signs of children.

  16. Wow, this blew me away…who was in charge that day? I think the One who first loved us showed up that day! Thanks for sharing Kenny. I posted it on Facebook!

  17. Reblogged this on The Window Philosopher and commented:
    Look out folks! I’m reblogging something. *dramatic music*
    I came across this post today, and I love it. I just love it. It’s a wonderful story and a reminder of where our focus should be this time of year.
    Enjoy. Peace.

  18. It’s a wonderful story. The love of Christ never fails to amaze me, nor does the innocence of the children He loves so much.

  19. Cecelia Lester said:

    Thank you for that message. We forget that we celebrate the season because God came to earth in the form of a baby, Christ the Lord,

  20. What a lovely thing to happen. God works in such sneaky ways, doesn’t He!

  21. Jesus said, “If they [his disciples] keep quiet the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). In this case, all it took was a cardboard letter held upside down for the gospel message to be proclaimed! Incredible story–thank you for sharing it, Kenny.

  22. onemunchingmomma said:

    God has endless ways! Really enjoyed reading!

  23. So all things work for good . . . even W’s. It’s one thing to stop labeling holiday events in public schools as “Christmas,” and quite another to leave behind Christmas music or beautiful music and message of any faith. I’m glad they sang the song.

  24. Joan Mae said:

    Oh! I love the message. I love reading it. Thanks for sharing this. Christ is indeed love.

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