The Two Paths of Christmas

Imagine a hillside Christmas display.  “Come See Christmas in Lights” the sign says.  You’ll be walking a pathway, seeing Christmas portrayed in multi-colored lights and moving displays.  You have two paths to choose from, you’re told upon entering.

The bottom path (no steps, no climbing, little effort required) is advertised as a secular display.  You’ll see images of Santa, reindeer, the Grinch, Frosty, etc., including a swirl of lights on the ground portraying grandma who got run over by the reindeer.

The upper path (some steps, a little climbing, definitely some effort required) is advertised as the religious display.  Here you’ll find the nativity display with the Christ child, angels, shepherds, wise men, the inn keeper, and a blazing star.

If you choose to take the secular path you’ll be with the crowd.  Look up and you can see the haze of the lights from the religious display but nothing is clearly visible to you.  It remains a mystery.  “Happy Holidays!” you’re told upon exiting.

Choose the religious path and you see images of the story that made Christmas a reality in the first place.  There are not as many people on this path as the one below.  You enjoy the images of the Christmas story as you walk along with the story being illuminated afresh in your imagination and heart.  Funny thing is that you can also glance down and enjoy the images of Santa, the reindeer, the Grinch, Frosty and all the rest.  They’ve become classic images and stories, holding their place in your imagination along with such fictional characters as Mickey Mouse, Batman or Cinderella.  You’re enjoying the best of both worlds but, most definitely, the path you’re on is the best of the two worlds.  Upon exiting you’re told, “Merry Christmas!”  It truly is for you a merry Christmas for you’ve chosen the path least traveled, the high road, and that, in this Christmas season, and other times too, has made all the difference in the world!


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