Just like that Bing fella, I dream of a white Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know... back in the wondrous days of my childhood.

My siblings and I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Santa Claus, who, without fail, would slip in and out undetected while we slept.

Nothing matched the excitement of unwrapping our presents on Christmas morning. That particular year, my brother Mike and I received matching red sweatshirts, complete with hoods and a front pocket to warm our chilly hands. I also recall receiving a football, though the contents of Mike's other package have slipped through the cracks of my memory bank.

I do, however, remember that a blanket of snow had transformed Dongola into a winter wonderland.

So, we donned our new, red-hooded apparel and we made our way outside.

I believe most folks share a deep appreciation for undisturbed snow. So pure and pristine. It’s a magnificent sight.

In the tiny town of Dongola, with the absence of bustling traffic, the untouched roads preserved the serene beauty of the snow. This was a perfect opportunity for Mike and I to imagine ourselves as skilled trackers.

We'd identify a deer's hoofprints here, a raccoon over there, and the curious prints of some sort of feline. The mystery deepened in our young minds as we pondered the possibility of mountain lions roaming the hills of Union County. Chances are it was just a stray cat... though, nowadays, it’s not uncommon to spy a bobcat or two.

These days, Patricia and I don't often venture out into the wintry landscape. We’re perfectly content to gaze upon it from our big window.

It's a beautiful sight, that tranquil blanket of snow. It brings a profound peace and soothing serenity that causes me to yearn for the simple Christmases of my youth.

As I reflect on the beauty of Christmas, my thoughts turn to the divine act of a Father delivering to us the magnificent gift of His one and only Son in the form of a tiny, fragile baby.

I can't help but wonder what it would’ve been like to be a young boy growing up with Jesus as a friend and sharing in His childhood adventures.

When Jesus was a boy, did he play in the streets, laugh with friends, and experience all the joys of youth? In my heart of hearts, I'd like to believe he did... but he, no doubt, saw it all through a unique lens, as that tiny baby matured into the Messiah, and he discovered his profound purpose.

Did this monumental transformation happen in an instant? Or was it a gradual revelation in the same way we all grow and learn?

I can’t wait to ask Him one day.

But, until then, I’ll be dreaming of a white Christmas.

Be well. Stay well. Happy Holidays.

Francis Pass

PS – At my uncle’s house next door, Santa Claus always paid an early visit and brought their gifts on Christmas Eve. I still don’t understand how that was possible.