The First Snow

….and Biblical Facts About Snow. Countdown to Christmas Blogs Sliding Along….

The First Snow 2

ENJOY THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC TOO!


It’s Christmas eve and the homes in our neighborhood are all decorated with lots of creative ideas. In the cold and dreary dark, almost on cue, a flurry falls. So together, standing with our arms around each other, a light on ready for bed, you and I watch as it begins to snow. Excited it’s our first snow, you look up at me, smile and say, “Let’s go for a walk”. Racing to get layered up, I helped you with your new suede boots with furry collars and little gold bells attached to the outside. With two pair of leggings and three different tops, I think it’s safe to say you’ll probably stay warm.

So I wrapped a scarf around my neck, stuck a knit-y on my head, grabbed my black goose down and headed out. Do you know how hard it is to hold someone’s hand with mittens on? Scuffing the snow as we walked through the neighborhood, I see we are not alone; we have company as others thought the same as us. It’s amazing how much better the decorations look covered in white. I love this time of year! We must have walked a mile, I guess, both our noses were blood red, frozen, as the snow was accumulating on our clothing.

I looked at my watch, it’s 12:03. MERRY CHRISTMAS, my love! What a wonderland worth falling in love in for in this season. Frozen to the bone, we rush inside, strip in the foyer and ran to shower in an attempt to thaw. The tree is loaded with, “I love you” gifts under it. I smell the effervescence of freshly cut pine. It’s as though we had just cut the forest.

A good night’s sleep, listening for Santa, we rose the next morning to a glimmering sunrise. It’s as though the Lord had sprinkled star dust all over the snow sometime in the middle night. With carols filling the airwaves in the living room, and the sound of shovels scraping the walks in the background, it is Christmas morning – a time to rejoice! “Wow honey,” I see you moved the angel from the top of tree. “No”, I said , “I thought you did. Well then please tell me how it got on the mantle…..??”  It’s the magic of Christmas!

The First Snow 4


Biblical Facts About Snow:

 

The word “snow” (Hebrew sheleg, Greek chion) appears 23 times in the Bible.

 

 “Driving snow” is an analogy for God’s judgment found in Ecclesiasticus 43:13:

By his commandment he maketh the snow to fall apace, and sends swiftly the lightnings of his judgment

 

In the bible, snow generates fruitfulness, wherever it falls.  As noted in Isaiah 55:10:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.”

 

Snow was used in the bible as an analogy of purity and cleanness. Each time we see snow, we should be ever mindful to strive to live clean, pure and holy lives, just the same way that Christ was pure and sinless.  Psalms 51:7:

“Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow”

 

The whiteness of leprosy is compared to snow in Exodus 4:6.

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

 

Snow is used to describe the color of Christ’s hair in Revelation 1:14:

 “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” 

 

In biblical times, snow that fell from the higher elevations, was stored deep in the mountains to be used in the summer months to cool off a drink. Proverbs 25:13:

“Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.”

One-Horse Open-Sleigh

Countdown to Christmas Continues….. Jingling All The Way!

One-Horse Open-Sleigh FB


ENJOY OUR MUSIC WHILE READING THE BLOG!  “JINGLE BELLS” SUNG BY PERRY COMO

 


“One-Horse Open-Sleigh”, later known as Jingle Bells, was written by Massachusetts resident, James Pierpont in 1850. As this story tells, Pierpont wrote it in Simpson’s Tavern, a boarding house with the only piano in town. An unproven detail is that he wrote his popular winter song for his father’s Sunday School class for Thanksgiving. It was so popular that it was sung again at Christmas time. One of Pierpont’s friends called the song, “a merry little jingle.”

One Horse Open Sleigh 2

Among the earliest recorded versions of the song were on music boxes but it didn’t become popular until the phonograph record era. Among all the recordings, it was Bing Crosby with The Andrews Sisters who made the song the most popular. Their 1943 recording is the one most often heard today during the Christmas season in the United States.

Pierpont’s inspiration for this song was the annual one-horse open-sleigh races on Salem and Pleasant Streets between Medford Square and Malden Square. What were these races? In the 19th century, harness racing was extremely popular in towns. Straight, snow packed roads made for excellent racing lanes, and men would hitch their best horses for the races. Local newspapers from the 1800s and early 1900s included the latest sleigh racing reports, winner’s names and the breeding of the best horses. For many, sleigh racing was a cold-weather pastime, much like sledding and skiing. Large bells were attached to the horse’s necks to help avoid collisions at intersections (thus the inspiration for the title, Jingle Bells).

One Horse Open Sleigh 1

The sleigh described in “Jingle Bells” is known as a “cutter”—a two-person vehicle designed for a single horse in harness. A horse that could trot like the bobtailed mare referenced in the song could cover a mile in two minutes and 40 seconds. Fast one! It was not unusual for the tails of these horses to be bobbed to avoid entanglement in the tack.

As for sleigh racing, it dwindled in popularity each year after the introduction of the automobile.

~~~~~~~

Horses are certainly one of the most fascinating creatures that God created! In the Bible, they were used as sources of transportation, symbols of army strength, royal gifts, pagan worship and symbols of wealth, character, and prophesies. To ride a horse in biblical times, usually implied war, which is why men usually rode donkeys, mules, camels and ox-driven carts. They were rarely used for agricultural purposes.

Proverbs 21:31
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.

On a day-to-day basis, horses were imported and exported so chariot cities were built to stable them. Archaeologists have uncovered the ancient city of Megiddo, which was one of King Solomon’s chariot cities. Massive stone hitching posts still may be observed at the location.

1 Kings 10: 28-29
“Solomon’s horses were brought out of Egypt, and the king’s merchants received them in droves, each at a price. A chariot could be brought out of Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150. And so to all the kings of the Hittites and of Syria they were exported by the king’s merchants.”

1 Kings 4:26
“Solomon also had 40,000 stalls for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen”.

But for all the notoriety that horses are famous for, God wants us to understand this about horses. He created them for their strength and power but not as a replacement for His power in your life. Just as horses tend to be stubborn and independent, so the Lord encourages you to lean on Him at all times, for His guidance. It can symbolize destruction or victory to you in His holy name!

Countdown to Christmas Blogs

Never miss a Christmas story and song! Read them all here….

Countdown to Christmas Blogs


 

#1:  Birth Of The Christmas Greeting Card

Birth Of The Christmas Greeting Card

 

#2:  A Rivalry of Christmas Harmony

A Rivalry Of Christmas Harmony

 

#3:  The Shy, Red Nose

The Shy, Red Nose

 

#4:  Paying Homage At Christmas

Paying Homage At Christmas

 

#5:  One-Horse Open-Sleigh

One-Horse Open-Sleigh

 

#6:  The First Snow

The First Snow

 

 

 

 

The Shy, Red Nose

….and Video Of The Original Book Of This Beloved Classic Christmas Song! Countdown To Christmas!

The Shy Red Nose cover

 


This is a true story of a quiet, shy little boy of four children, whose Jewish parents lived in an upscale New York village. Born in 1905, Robert L. May was a loner who stayed to himself and considered himself a loser. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1926. In 1937, Bob moved to Chicago and took a pittance of a job – a copywriter – for the store chain, Montgomery Ward.

Every night, his terminally ill wife, Evelyn, would lie on the couch and listen to Bob as he told an ongoing story of a shy, red-nosed reindeer, to their four year old daughter, Barbara. He also included the eight other reindeer who accompanied Santa – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. He found these names based on the poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas”. Bob could certainly associate with Rudolph’s glowing red nose which made him a social outcast!

After his daughter’s bedtime, Bob would sit with his wife and write down what he had told his little girl. In July of ’39, Evelyn passed. The store manager insisted Bob take some time off to work on his picture book. Christmas came and the only gift he could afford to give Barbara was the storybook she dearly loved, as he had become inundated with his late wife’s medical debt.

He was invited to a business Christmas party at Montgomery Ward’s but he wasn’t interested in going. His cohorts insisted and they asked him to bring his book and read it to them. Astonished by his accomplishments, the employees cheered and applauded.

The manager of Montgomery Ward’s bought the rights for a promotional gig and sold 2.4 million story books the first year in publication in 1939. Bob, a mere writer, had struck gold!

Rudolph Ward's promotional reindeer


May persuaded Montgomery Ward’s corporate president, Sewell Avery, to turn the copyright over to him in January 1947. It’s popularity could help him to pay for his medical debt. At the time, he lived in a two room apartment with his daughter and now he had fame as well as fortune.

In 1948 , Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks wrote the song, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, hoping Bing Cosby or Dina Shore would record it but they, and many others, turned it down. Finally, Gene Autry accepted the song. Within a few years, it was the second best-selling Christmas song ever!

In 1964, a television special about Rudolph produced by Rankin/Bass and narrated by Burl Ives, aired, and today it remains a popular perennial holiday favorite in the U.S. It is a classic children’s book of timeless proportions… a bedtime story of biblical proportions.

Barbara May was interviewed about her father by the Lakeland Ledger newspaper on December 26, 1981. A statement she made, describes her father’s fortitude yet complexity of his personality:

“He felt that Rudolph was something like him as a little boy, sort of scrawny and not quite accepted by the other kids on the block…. But he knew that a person had to keep going and that, somehow, perseverance and tolerance would win out.”

Truly a rags to riches story!

The Shy Red Nose

 


Enjoy this video of the original book of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”: