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Birth of the Christ Child

By Doug Harrell

Mitchell County

Doug Harrell Mitchell County Covid

As I write this Life Lessons my mind is on the coming Christmas Season and all that goes with that, but especially the impact of all that goes with it.  The birth of Jesus and the impact that has had upon the world.  There has never been an event that had such a lasting effect on mankind as the birth of the Christ Child.

As we go into Christmas 2021 I think about how it was during Christmas in 1950. I was seven years old and while I don’t recall specifics, I do remember the excitement that surrounded the occasion.  I remember mother making cookies and leaving them out for Santa to eat when he came down the chimney with the gifts he would be bringing.  I remember the many times I had looked at the Sears Catalog, as I sat in the outhouse that was our toilet at that time and dreaming about the fancy things in that big dream book.  There was no such thing as Black Friday back then!  Our only outing was to go to Johnson City for a little shopping trip and to have lunch at one of my Dad’s cousin’s restaurants.  This was truly once a year occasion.  The road to Johnson City at that time was still a gravel road across the Iron Mountain and I still remember that the car we drove had a gear shift in the floor with a red knob on the shifter.  Why that was such a big deal, I don’t know except that I have always had a love for anything with wheels!

I remember going out with Dad and getting a jack pine Christmas tree from up in the hollow across from the barn and bringing that tree in. We nailed a wooden plank on the bottom of it so it would stand up and mother made popcorn which we strung on with needle and thread to make popcorn roping that we put on the tree along with a few ornaments that she made by hand.  The highlight of decorating was to put on a pack of tinsel that she had purchased.  Things sure have changed over the years but the one constant is the reason for the season.

Yes, we had Santa Clause, and we had a stocking. In fact, I still have that stocking that my mother made me many, many years ago.  Our stocking would have a few pieces of candy, maybe an orange and some nuts, but that was a big deal.  There would be a gift under the tree when we got up. We had a dairy farm so we always got up early anyway but on Christmas day it was because we children wanted to get up, not because that was just time to get up. Excitement filled the air, to say the least.

One of the biggest blessings of my life has been the fact that even though we had Santa, mother made sure that we knew the real reason for the season.  We went to church to see the Christmas Play, sang Christmas Carols and there was no such thing as happy holidays, it was Merry Christmas to all.  I remember the Christmas Plays at school and the singing of carols there as well.  It was a true season of rejoicing to say the least.

As we go into this Christmas 2021 I pray that each of you will truly remember the reason for the season, that you will take time to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, and that you will teach these things to your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  There is nothing wrong with getting and giving gifts, remember the greatest gift ever given to mankind.  The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the new covenant that His blood created for each of us that we may have our sins washed away by the blood He was willing to shed on the cross for each of us.  May your Christmas be blessed and your life an example for all those you come in contact with at the celebrations you attend.  May your life be like the Christmas Lights you will be seeing, may you be a light that lets others see Jesus in you.


Doug Harrell is a life-long resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at

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