The 12 Days of Christmas from Dr. Terry Paulson
12 Days of Christmas 2011...Day Eight

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day Eight...December 21, 2011

Terry Paulson, PhD, CSP, CPAE

On the Eighth Day of Christmas my true friend gave to me...

An opportunity to teach and be taught...

This year, each message will be archived on my website, and you can see some past collections of messages by visiting that website now at

A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT FOR THE DAY…"Christmas Tugs Us Homeward"

"During the holiday season, business people are routinely excoriated for being greedy and not doing enough for society. In the model of Scrooge…, they are said to be selfish when they should be looking out for others. Consistently successful business people are not self-consumed. In fact,…successful entrepreneurs are acutely, and often excessively, interested in the needs and desires of others. This attitude accounts for their success. But it is also their biggest failing in a season that requires attention to family first. One of the many glories of the Christmas season, with all of its religious and cultural meaning, is that it tugs us homeward. My Christmas advice to entrepreneurs: Give in to the allure of home. As you think of resolutions for the New Year, reflect on the fundamental priorities of faith and family that often take a backseat to the concerns of the outside world."

–Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty,

…What can you do to bring the Spirit of Christmas into your world of work?

I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY..."The Love Only a Child Can Give"

On Christmas Day, we were the only family with children in the small restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi there." He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. "Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster," the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?" Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi, hi there." Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, "Do ya know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally go through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. "Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik," I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's pick me up, position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man's. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship.

Erik in an act of total trust, love and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain and hard labor gently, so gently cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, "You take care of this baby."

Somehow I managed, "I will," from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, "God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift." I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, "My God, my God, forgive me." I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not, I felt it was God asking "Are you willing to share your son for a moment?", when He Shared His for All Eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter The Kingdom of God, we must become as little children."


Akiam Kramarik is an amazing young girl whose visions as a young child have provided us a window into faith and heaven. In the book, Heaven Is for Real, Todd Burpo was taken aback by how this young girl's images of Christ were similar to his own. May her visions and her story be a gift to you this Christmas...

Remember, You can find the archived messages from this year's series on my website at For now, keep your sense of humor and your sense of thanksgiving and anticipation! More we prepare for His coming!

Your Host for our 12 Day Journey to Christmas.

Terry Paulson, PhD

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