Commentary

Those fingers

To see the real Christmas miracle just stop and think about them

Here’s how writers of newspaper editorials get depressed. They look for “help” in writing one on a subject that’s been covered thoroughly, like the holiday we celebrate next Wednesday, they go to an Internet search engine, type “Christmas” and hit “return.”

Where they learn virtually everything except what they wanted help on, a new and fresh approach to say something meaningful. Things like:

• Fifty-six percent of us sing Christmas songs to our pets. Or admit to doing it.

• The pizza delivery man in North Pole, Alaska, used to be named “Kris Kringel.”

• The Puritans banned observance of Christmas in Boston between 1659 and 1681. Fine was five shillings.

• Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in six weeks and it initially made him very little money.

• You’re supposed to stir Christmas pudding east to west to make it come out right.

• Santa used to be depicted wearing various colors of coats but the always-red tradition gained momentum after a series of famous Coca-Cola ads in the 1920s and 30s.

• The average person consumes 30 extra pieces of chocolate candy in December. (Seems a little low).

• Seventeen percent of Americans will embarrass themselves at a Christmas party during the season.

• The average person gives 22 gifts each Christmas season and gets 14 in return.

• Thirty-one percent of all diamonds are sold during the Christmas season.

If that kind of stuff is all Christmas is really about, why do we bother? It’s depressing.

But this is how writers of editorials come out of their depression, quickly and joyfully.

They gaze in passing at a depiction of the Madonna and Child—anyone’s, Da Vinci’s or your five-year-old grandchild’s— and catch a glimpse of the baby’s fingers. And think:

Those fingers, which a short time ago grasped the entire universe, are now squeezing their mother’s hand.

And why did this miracle happen?

For us.

Merry Christmas.—M.B.


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2013-12-19 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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