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Northview Blog Bethlehem Snow: Finding Sweet Moments To Pause This Christmas

November 23, 2020

Bethlehem Snow: Finding Sweet Moments To Pause This Christmas

Growing up in Minnesota, the land of lakes and snow, I had always assumed the first Christmas was a white one. After all, my family’s Nativity had a layer of snow to prove it. 

My dad had lovingly made our wooden manger and carefully cut strips of cotton padding to cover the roof, the half walls of the manger and the ground where the animal figurines stood. In the gable of the manger was an angel, and inside was a special blue light bulb to simulate the night sky. Just before bed, the glow of the blue light always drew me in, and I loved nothing more than to stare at baby Jesus, swaddled to stay warm from the “Bethlehem snow.” 
As a child, these moments of pausing, gazing and reflecting came naturally. As an adult, I find it much more difficult. The holiday season can be so busy, and often hectic, that those peaceful moments of calm get lost in the shuffle. To help build times of calm, I began a few years ago to place an assortment of Christmas books under our tree. I love to see my teens stretched out every once in a while, reading under the glow of the Christmas tree. 
I also purchase a long taper candle and mark it with 25 Sharpie lines. Each night, we light one portion, or maybe two if we missed the night before. While the candle glows, it’s a good time to read a verse or two, pray, sing a carol or simply enjoy the quiet. 
At the first snowflake, or even the scent of one, we bundle up and walk under the stars. Arm in arm, we take a few breaths and gaze at the night sky. There is no official record of snow that first Christmas night, but in the chill of the air, I feel the wonder of the birth of our Savior on that silent, holy night—our Savior who brought a fresh start, as white as freshly fallen snow. 
While the rush and bustle also bring joy and excitement each holiday season, may we all have a few moments to pause. And maybe this is the year to buy some cotton snow and a blue light bulb.

by Jenessa Denniston


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