‘Blue Christmas’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

It was 1957 that Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson wrote the song popularized by Elvis Presley entitled ‘Blue Christmas’.  A song about one’s love being absent on Christmas has been enjoyed by millions of people.  “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.  I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.  Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree.  Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not hear with me.”

On this Christmas Day, I am thinking of a different sort of ‘blue Christmas’.  Having returned from last week’s disaster relief trip to South Georgia, I have a ‘Blue Tarp Christmas’ on my mind and in my heart.  The devastation of Hurricane Michael across the panhandle of Florida and into South Georgia is mind boggling.  With snapped-off pine trees and uprooted hardwoods, it is a vivid reminder of the power of wind.  Homes, businesses and schools are covered in ‘blue tarp’.  They even after two months wait for insurance companies, roofing companies and volunteer labor to assist in returning life to some sense of normality.

This ‘Blue Tarp Christmas’ was full of appreciation from the people we encountered as we attempted to bring some ‘hands on’ assistance.  “We are still in shock and somewhat depressed”, said one dear lady whose church was all but destroyed.  “Thank you for your help.  You help us have hope”.  There was a moment of silence among us as we were caught between empathy and sympathy as we received her grateful words.

“And when those blue snowflakes start falling; that’s when those blue memories start calling.  You’ll be doing’ all right, with your Christmas of white.  But I’ll have a blue, blue blue Christmas.”

There were not many exterior lights of Christmas in South Georgia.  I suspect they’ve not had the time, energy nor resources to worry much about such decorations.  Some had begun to put up a Christmas tree inside their home.  It is the ‘Blue Tarps’ of Christmas that will have to do this year.  They bring color to a struggling part of God’s world.  ‘Blue tarp’ has become a sign of survival and hope.  It is also a reminder that things are not as they once were…perhaps they can be better now that the wind has settled.

Snowflakes in South Georgia are a rare occurrence.  But blue memories are calling.  So, as we celebrate our Christmas, let’s not forget those who are having a ‘blue, blue blue (blue tarp) Christmas’.  They continue to need our help.

May the babe of a manger rest well in our hearts and lives this Christmas.  God loves you, my friends…he came in the flesh to prove that very point.

Always Thinking…Merry Christmas,


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