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December 5, 2016 “Quiet Spot on the Corner”

Most folks have some word of wisdom to share regarding real estate purchases.  There’s the adage, “Location, location, location”!  Then there’s the wisdom from my mother-in-law.  She would say, "Always buy the house on the corner!"  I don't fully understand all her reasons, but she seemed to like a house visible from the front but with a side providing a generous lawn also with a view from the street.


This weekend I was filled with excitement and anticipation about the first Christmas in Winterville that Ken and I would experience.  In our early days after the move we heard good news about Christmas in the Park on the first weekend in December.  I eagerly anticipated that event, but in particular I wanted to learn how the Live Nativity at Winterville United Methodist might interplay with the hub-bub of that event.


I arrived early.  The stable on the church lawn was empty as if announcing its preparedness to receive a pregnant mother and anxious dad--or at least a couple assuming the role!  It was quiet except for a few noises from sheep and goats that had already been delivered by animal owners excited that their flocks had been chosen for such important work on this weekend.


I made my way to the park.  It was busy there—difficult to thread one’s way through the crowds.  Our helpful and experienced police force had cordoned off Church Street, allowing the Winterville Train to make its way uninterrupted to the park entrance.  A blue light and momentary blare from the police cruiser made everyone aware that festivities had begun. 


Moving along the sidewalk toward the pavilion I realized that I was part of an entourage as Santa and Ms. Claus made their way to their assigned booth.  As I entered the pavilion I noticed the common thread that so often draws people together—a desire for community, yes!, a desire to be a part of supporting children, yes!, but we can’t forget another important factor—food!  Hot dogs and hot chocolate—they were in abundance, much to the delight of the crowds.


There was one point of dismay in my experience of Christmas in the Park for my first Christmas in Winterville.  As groups of children took their places to sing songs that they had learned for the occasion, the crowds could hardly be distracted from their tasks of finding hot dogs, reaching for mustard, calling to others in their groups that they had located the essential items!  Children sang dutifully as they had been trained to do, but I—and I assume others besides myself—could not hear their music.  It reminded me of how often important things take place, but we are too loud and too busy to take them in—take the Bethlehem event, for instance.


I was MORE than happy to go back across Church Street and to find my way to a place in front of the manger.  I was filled with joy about our quiet spot on the corner of Main and Parkview because there Mary and Joseph and shepherds and kings alongside sheep and goats in a simple, unassuming way reminded anyone, amid the hub-bub, of the true focus of the season.


My mother-in-law was right!  Look for the quiet spot on the corner!  Good things happen there!


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