Friday, December 24, 2010 Midday
Happy holidays, America! This is Mike Huckabee. Today, I’m gonna share some of our listeners’ favorite simple Christmas memories. I hope you’ll enjoy these stories, and find them as moving and inspiring as I did. Coming up right after this, a story that reminds us of how fast things can change.
A listener named Cynthia writes…
In the days before e-mail, satellite communication, and affordable international phone calls, I, an all-American female, was teaching in a foreign land and looking forward to celebrating Christmas there with other expatriate teachers and friends of our host country. The past weeks had been festive, with bright lights and colorful cartoon-type decorations dotting the storefronts. With warm smiles, friends and shopkeepers alike greeted us with “Merry Christmas,” in their lilting English with native accents.
On Christmas morning, snow fell softly on the quiet city and countryside. I cautiously negotiated the snowy sidewalks of the silent, sleeping city, and finally managed to hail one lone taxi ambling up the pine-lined avenue where I lived.
“Merry Kressmas!” the cab driver called out as he swung open the back door of the taxi while veering to a stop. “Church, please,” I requested, knowing there was only one Christian church in this city of two million people. He nodded knowingly as he moved the dial on his car radio to an English music station that offered up the mellow tones of Elvis singing “Blue Christmas.”
“American-ee?” the driver inquired with a broad smile. “Yes,” I replied, often being mistaken for a Brit or Swede. For a brief moment, my heart skipped a beat and memories of family at home brought tears to my eyes. Quickly, I turned my thoughts to the past weeks of holiday preparation in this lovely land….the Swedish Bazaar at the foot of the mountains, offering handmade tree decorations and warm wassel; the easy bargaining with shopkeepers for unique treasures soon to be sent home.
“Angels we have heard on high” from the radio filled the taxi with familiar English voices.
Soon, we reached the turquoise and gold façade of the Christian church which held its worship first in the native language and then in English. Majestic music, as always, echoed the international language of Love.
So much has changed since that memorable holiday season abroad. So much progress in technology, yet so much departure in thought. My Christmas wish for the world is that one day life can be harmonious again between “old friends and new.”
Silver and gold can’t compare to that year…1975 and ‘76. And “change” cannot remove the memories of that welcoming “home away from home”…and by the way, it was the country of Iran.
Thank you, Cynthia, for reminding us that sometimes leaders don’t represent their people, but things can change very quickly. Let’s all hope and pray that soon, they’ll change again, this time for the better.