Archive for January 2012

Christmas re-experienced   Leave a comment

I had a few minutes tonight to sit down before dinner tonight and enjoy the tree.  We leave it up until at least Twelfth Night, for a variety of reasons; the main one is I don’t feel I really start celebrating and rejoicing until near Christmas if not Christmas Eve.  Why stop when I’m just getting started?  Also, there is usually more time *after* Christmas to really sit, reflect, enjoy, rejoice…I think the medievals had the plan right.  Bring in the Yule Log, the holly and the ivy on Christmas Eve.  Sing the office at midnight and then go back to the great hall for the feast of Christmas.

Of course that went from midnight until dawn on Christmas Day, which would not work for me with my pumpkin problem (I turn into a pumpkin after 10 p.m.), so maybe I won’t do that.  But in my heart…I’d love to.

Anyway, as I sat there, listening to George Winston’s December, which I have heard every Christmas season since I bought Mom a copy in 1985, the boys were quiet, and it was just me, the music, and the tree…and the loving presence who is never far from us.  There’s something about the colored lights on the tree.  That’s what I grew up with.  Even though ours is not a real tree, it’s fairly convincing.  I sat peacefully taking in the glowing balls, the paper chain, the Christmas bells (Dixie cups covered with shiny foil wrapping paper) that I made with my friend Shirley the Christmas we were 9, and I was literally taken back.  With the blinking of my one remaining blinking Christmas light, a faded purple bulb that has miraculously lasted for years now, I could have sworn I was 9 years old again.

I could see the branches of the tree and within them I could see the gifts of long ago.  I could hear my little brother playing nearby.  I could feel cold air on my face and a runny nose as well, as I was outside pulling my boots up through deep snow when Dad took us out the road to cut our own Christmas tree.  I was listening to the Christmas music of Percy Faith’s orchestra.  I was opening another little paper door on the Advent calendar.  The mystery and the joy was still there, inside of me.  I could feel in my heart the rush of hope and expectation, and the knowledge that there is someone beyond me and an experience glorious although un-graspable.

I don’t really know how to put into words what was going on inside me, except to say — it’s all still there.  What a gift that is.  Forty five Christmases wrapped up into one five minutes of experience tonight while I waited for the baked beans to finish.

Posted January 7, 2012 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized