Christmas Carol

On this Christmas Eve, as snow falls outside here in Dallas, I’m listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s great holiday CD “Come Darkness, Come Light.”

And her song, “Christmas Carol” struck me. We’re counting this as a rare White Christmas, whether or not it sticks on the ground, or there’s any here tomorrow. And out at the stores a moment ago, how great it was to see the expressions on people’s faces as they came outside, looked up to feel Christmas Eve snow falling on their faces.

Christmas Carol
by Mary Chapin Carpenter

The week before Thanksgiving Day
This town puts up its old display
Streetlights hung with candy canes and bows
The earlier it gets each year
The scarcer is my Christmas cheer
I guess I just like taking these things slow

I really don’t remember much
Of Christmases growing up
Except the year the Beatles came to play
On my record player that came from Sears
That White Album filled my ears
In 1968 on Christmas Day

I haven’t been to church since God knows when
I’m not someone who usually attends
Truth be told there’s just two wishes
On my list every Christmas
Peace on earth and a snow storm now and then

Now I pray that peace comes in our time
It’s hard enough to keep from crying
When every bit of news just breaks your heart
The same old stories, same old songs
We dust them off when Christmas comes
And for one day we just try to do our part

And around here winter seems to come
With rain and mud and bits of sun
It’s not exactly Currier and Ives
I don’t mind cold if it brings snow
Alberta Clippers come and go
But a dusting would make everything all right

Perhaps a Christmas eve from long ago
Delivered Christmas day with knee-high snow
It’s something lost but not forgotten
Like candy hidden in a stocking
That makes me every year wish it were so

Because Christmas is for children’s joy
For every single girl and boy
That’s the truth we come to understand
But the memories that don’t let go
Like Beatles songs and falling snow
Can make us feel innocent again

And maybe next year we won’t go insane
When they rush to hang the bows and candy canes
Because peace will shine in me and you
From Bethlehem to Timbuktu
Even if the forecast is for rain

Because peace will shine in me and you
From Bethlehem to Timbuktu
Even if the forecast is for rain.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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