Peace on Earth, Peace of Mind

Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Peace on Earth, Peace of Mind


I want to describe a recent scene in our home. Our little cat, Magoo was watching the Christmas tree. His brother, twitch was watching him watch the tree. Lisa was watching Twitch and I was watching Lisa. It was a cozy little scene. It was then I decided to write a column that would give a little of what I had in that moment to give, a little peace of mind.

This week the Canadian Pacific Christmas tree arrived in Thief River Falls, MN. The train serves to spread Christmas cheer and to help local food shelves re-stock their pantry during a time of much need. The seen prior to the train’s arrival included ciders, cookies and carolers. The train was covered in lights arranged in shapes of the season such as a Christmas tree and the word NOEL. I felt a little bad for the carolers as our applause was muted by the mittens protecting our hands from the cold. The lights, the children and the music created the kind of joyous scene many hope for during the holidays. My wife held my hand as the bony tailbone of my niece sunk into my spine from her perch on my shoulders. It was a classic scene and made me feel good, I had peace of mind.

I know for many this time of year isn’t always easy. For some, the holidays are a reminder of a loved one’s passing or a year we’d rather forget. Others may expect too much and the season can never live up to their expectations. The magic and mystery of the season doesn’t exist for these poor souls. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. If we can remember the purpose of Christmas there will be no post-season let down. The presents, parties and lights are just a way to let ourselves know that this is no regular day. A little is just as good as a lot, maybe even better. Don’t put so much emphasis on the perfect gift because that gift was already given, swaddled and sleeping in a manger. You can’t do any better than that. If you look at Christmas as a birthday celebration for someone other than yourself, you’ll feel better. If you can focus on someone else, life is easier. Maybe that’s the secret to the scene with our cats, my wife and me. I was focused on Lisa, she was focused on twitch, Twitch focused on Magoo while Magoo sat under the tree focused on a simple twinkling light. Focus on the needy, ring a bell at the Salvation Army kettle or take the rest of your Christmas fund and purchase phone cards for the soldier who just wants to call home. That’s the magic of Christmas.

On behalf of our small herd of cows, two black bulls boarding with us, our cats Twitch and Magoo, our registered chowlabhusky dog Muffin, my wife Lisa and I, we wish you Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth and peace of mind.