DFH Volume 1 Issue 25
By Jim Dayton
The Joy of Christ in Christmas was never so real as the evening our neighborhood in Connecticut got together for caroling and refreshments.
We lived in a new 88-acre development, and we were all corporate gypsies. Its residents came from every corner of America, and we cherished the geographical, cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of our roots, especially our local Christmas traditions. None of us had family close by, so we neighbors were one big family. One Christmas season, someone organized a neighborhood gathering for Christmas caroling and a time of refreshments. About fifty people showed up.
We gathered, after dark, at the turnaround of a cul-de-sac. The air was frigid, so the men had built a fire in a 55-gallon drum. The neighborhood “friendship leader” had the foresight to hand out copies of the words to the carols. We read the words by firelight or flashlight. Nearly all the carols we sang honored Christ—I don’t remember singing about Rudolph or Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. We sang about Christ In a Manger, about a Little Town Called Bethlehem, about a Silent and Holy Night, about Joy, about Angels Singing, about Merry Gentlemen Resting. It thrilled my soul to see and hear my neighbor’s families joyfully singing about Christ. Godliness and practicing Christianity aren’t very high priorities in New England. That night, the presence of Christ came to the end of Horse Stable Circle, and I saw the love of Christ on the faces of my friends and neighbors. I heard the love of Christ in their voices. The Johnsons opened their home to us, and when we finished singing our praises to God for the babe in the manger, we filled their house with laughter and joy.
Corporate gypsies move on. None of our families live there anymore. But every Christmas, I’ll bet there are a dozen or so families that fondly remember the love they felt for their neighbors and the presence of Christ at the end of Horse Stable Circle one Christmas eve.