Over the next couple of weeks instead of a Sunday Evening Post I thought I might post a few Christmas stories. Hope you enjoy them. The Legend of the Evergreens When all the earth is brown, evergreens stand in lonely vigil until the earth again is green. Evergreens shout to us about the hoped-for coming of green again, reminding us of joyous hope, the eternal presence of the Christ child. Legend tells us that long ago, evergreens were not forever colored with verdant leaves. Before the birth of Jesus, the evergreen was bare like other trees around. Let’s begin the legend with events recorded in the book of Matthew. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take the infant Jesus and his mother to Egypt until it was safe for them to return. Herod was sending his soldiers out to kill the baby. So Mary, Joseph, and Jesus left the security of their land and journeyed to Egypt without telling any of their family. Over rocky hills and dusty roads they traveled wearily, Mary and the baby on the back of a donkey, Joseph walking beside them. They traveled all night and into the next day. Mid-afternoon, Joseph noticed dust in the distance behind them. Fast-riding soldiers were coming; soldiers sent by Herod to carry out his dreadful mission. Where could they hide? Where would they find protection? The hillside was barren, offering no shield. Quickly, Joseph guided Mary and her child into a clump of cedars on a hill. Immediately, the bare cedar twigs greened with color, thickened with growth to shield the holy family. The white berries of the cedar turned to sapphire blue to match the robe Mary was wearing. Herod’s soldiers went right on past, never seeing, never knowing that Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus were safely sheltered in a clump of green cedars with berries of sapphire blue. Since that day, cedars and plants like them have never shed their leaves, never lost their green, for they sheltered the holy family. Evergreen, everlasting, eternal; green branches are part of our preparation—a symbol of hope, a reminder of love received. Evergreens are a symbol of the eternal and everlasting God. When you see the evergreen Christmas trees, with all of the beautiful lights and decorations, thing about this story and what the evergreen trees are all about. Last but not least remember the reason for this season. Merry Christmas to all! "God bless us, every one!,"