David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
December 11, 2007


Christmas is fast approaching for the Currie family, just as it is for all of you. In next week’s Rumblings, we will talk about Jesus and Christmas. This week, however, I want to share some personal memories with you.

Christmas for the Curries always means Paint Rock. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve in Paint Rock, just as we have virtually every year since we moved into my grandparents’ house in 1960. In 1972, my grandmother Ruth Patton was very ill. We arranged for an ambulance to take her to the hospital at around 2 p.m. , so we observed Christmas a little early that year – around noon . I still remember Daddy and Uncle Charlie McLaughlin carrying Grandmother out of the house and down the steps to the ambulance while she remained sitting in a chair . She died 2 days later at age 88.

Lance and Chad cannot imagine Christmas anyplace other than Paint Rock on Christmas Eve.

I’ve been told that my church, Southland Baptist in San Angelo , has a magnificent Christmas Eve service every year. I don’t doubt it, because I know I go to a magnificent church. I love our church. Nevertheless, I just can’t make it to that service, because I can’t bear to miss Christmas at Paint Rock; it’s too special.

On Saturday morning, I stopped on the way to the ranch and put up Mother’s tree and the lights on the tree. Her cleaning lady helped her finish it this week. I suppose Mother put up the “black sheep” ornament in honor of me, as she always does. On my birthday, she told me, “I’m glad I had you,” and I have always been thrilled that she understood that her son was far from perfect and loved me anyway. What more could a child ask for from a parent!

We always sing Christmas carols as we start our Christmas Eve. There are many memories related to these songs, but my favorite memory is of Chad when he was small. Lance, Craig, and Kim would sing “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” When it came time for the line “like a light bulb,” Chad would pop up from behind the couch and scream it loud!!! What a precious memory of a time long past, of innocence lost, of years lived on – sometimes well and sometimes not.


Throughout the years, the most fun has been singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which – although we always mess up badly – Mother still loves to hear.

After we finish singing carols, Lance or Chad will read Luke 2:1-20. I still remember memorizing that passage as a child and reciting it at Christmas plays at First Baptist Church, Paint Rock.

My favorite part of that Christmas story is the shepherds getting up and heading to Bethlehem. I always enjoyed imagining what they must have been experiencing. I think the idea always appealed to me that – when you hear of the amazing event . . . the great story . . . when you hear that the “pearl of great price” is within your reach – you go for it, you strive for it, you give your all to it.

When I think of Christmas in Paint Rock, I think of years and years of tradition and history and, most of all, love. Our family is bound together by the “amazing event” that we know as “God becoming flesh and dwelling among us.”

I am grateful that my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandfather Robert Morrison Currie, the first moderator of the San Antonio Baptist Association – the first Currie to come to Texas – all believed the amazing event . . . the great story, and passed that faith down from generation to generation.

We will celebrate that faith together again soon. I know that you have special memories as well. Enjoy them, thank God for them, and live like the shepherds.