Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Spirit

I love when the Christmas spirit comes unexpectedly. At the beginning of each December I

anticipate it and hope that I will feel it again. But like the seasons, I too seem to be nearing

the cold, harsh part of hope and so I initially wonder: "Will I feel it this year?" I don't

know if it is the Idaho weather that makes me go into that kind of state or if it is a natural

cycle that we all go through that only Christmas can satisfy. All I know is a surrender has to

proceed it. And sometimes that is hard. Really hard. The decorations go up, I start listening

to the music and think of gifts to give; yet that familiar feeling doesn't automatically happen.

It isn't until I get down on 'Little Drummer Boy' status that I can tap into the true meaning of

Christmas, look outward instead of inward, and allow God to carve out the space needed inside me

for Him to fill. And often it is really painful. Because there is always deep wanting to

overcome. -The aching I feel for whatever it is in my life that only the birth of the Savior can

satisfy. But when it comes! It is so worth it. Simple things like the sun shining becomes enough.

The needs melt away and you are left with an appreciation for life and what you have. And,

finally, when that moment the spirit of Christmas surprises you, hope is restored. And all the

twinkling lights around town and on the tree signify it. But it amazes me how you have to fight

to get it back because it doesn't stay. I was glad to have felt it the other day in a

conversation. About religion. Before the conversation took place I had been slow getting ready for

the day. A long, painful night had proceded it. I looked down and noticed the dust accumulating on

my bureau. so I found a rag, knelt down and clean it off. I carefully removed all the items,

dusted my typewriter, shook the doilies off, and finally ran the soft cloth over the picture frames

of my son as a baby. In front of one was a current smaller picture taken over at the school. This

tid bit comes into play later in the post. The conversation was concerning celebrating Christmas

at all. The holiday in general. The person posed to me that Christ is a King, that in her religion

they didn't dwell on Christ as a Baby. She gave an analogy of not putting on a diaper or handing

me a bottle, that those things were done away, now that we were adults. My mind went back to

dusting the pictures of my son and I shared that with the person. It wasn't a dramatic,

clandestine experience. Just a sweet, peaceful feeling that filled the empty space in me with joy.

A gratitude to be able to celebrate His birth at this time of year, no matter when He was born

washed over me. When I looked at the Christmas decorations
my parents have accrued, the villages, manger/nativity the boughs hung on the mantel fireplace, I

was so glad for the holiday. The symbolism in all of the traditions, that I have to consciously

keep in balance, all point toward Christ's birth. I am glad for the freedom to keep them in

balance and believe in Santa Claus. My favorite is the fact that God's gift to me, in addition to

His Son, is all He has. Can you imagine? I can't. And I have to remind myself of it. Even the

anticipation of opening gifts reminds me of the big surprise he has in store for me. (and you) I

need to think about that aspect more. It makes this part, here, on earth worth it. But I don't

think it is necessarily reserved for then either. It (the enjoyment) can happen now. Since that

conversation, Christmas has had full sway. Tender mercies are abundant. One evening I was across

town past my point of abilities and yet I was able to endure.-My head bobbled calmly down 17th

street, in 5 o' clock traffic while the Carpenters sang: There's No Place Like Home for the

Holidays. I am grateful to have those small miracles each day. Even the aspect of what book

Jaden and I read is a treat.(I recommend The Cricket in Times Square and The Call of the Wild by Jack London for this month! And of course anything Dickens.

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