Right around Thanksgiving, many Sauk Centre households and
organizations started putting up decorations.
From the safely generic "Happy Holiday" strung over Main street to
the glowing heads of Christmas elves weighing down tree branches, folks
traveling through Sauk Centre would know that there's something special
Holiday-themed store displays, with their plastic pre-lighted trees
and cubic yards of merchandise, might suggest that plates decorated with
winter scenes and collectible designer knick-knacks are the most
important part of this season.
Then again, caroling snowpersons, candy canes, and reindeer-powered
flying sleighs show this early-winter holiday as a time for make believe
tales of Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed
All of which distracts us from a very important birthday celebration.
For about two millennia now, followers of Jesus have celebrated the
Savior's birth in the early winter season. This is when Christians
remember that unique time in history, when the Word of God came to live
with us, as one of us.
Many Christmas displays reflect this reason for the holiday, often
with a crèche or manger scene. One modest yard display in Sauk Centre is
In early December, this household had colored statues of Joseph and
Mary, each a little over 3 feet tall, set so that they are looking at a
patch of lawn before them. I believe folks at that house may be
following a tradition where Jesus isn't in the crèche scene until
Christmas Eve, just the way it was back in Bethlehem.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have
seen his glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled
with enduring love." John 1, 14
Happy Birthday, Jesus!