I am sitting here at my Little French Desk looking out on my screened in front porch at the wispy powder blue curtains gently blowing in the slight, Southern breeze; walking backwards in my mind to other Christmases, other places with views and some with no view, other Christmas Trees, other porches and fighting back what feels like a tsunami of tears.
The first Christmas in Escondido, at my Gramma Hallie’s windy-inside ancient Victorian. My big brother was heading off to Germany by the New Year so the picture with the three of us, me Mike and Edwin, standing in front of the tiny tree in the bay window alcove was a classic. I don’t remember any of the presents I got that year, but I do remember standing in front of that tree with Edwin in his Army dress uniform. It was 1959 and the whole world was changing for us all.
The second Christmas in that sleepy little burg my mother, Mike and I worked at the YMCA Christmas tree lot. It was hard, very cold work. Especially for a Florida girl like me plopped down in the California foothill cold of December. We all worked hard at selling those trees. My Mom convince a guy to by the grey flocked one that was accidentally sprayed that color. It seems the nozzle wasn’t quite clean when the sprayer was turned back on. I’m pretty sure she told him it was a light grey, but he said it would go with the futuristic bulbs he had. Happy customer that guy.
The third one there was the one where Mike and I realized our Dad had been sending us birthday and Christmas presents that our Mom had sent back unopened. It was as if we lost him twice. But, for some reason it was the one where I actually experienced the “Christmas Magic” that others spoke about. I remember coming home from church that night, standing outside looking at the stars spread out over the dark sky like a quilt. I could feel the Wise Men following one of those stars, maybe one like that really twinkly one over there. I could feel the joy of the Baby King in the manger. I knew, deep in my soul, that Christmas had truly come.
Other Christmases are more of a blur. We moved a lot, lost so many of the smaller items, like bulbs and light strings (what happened to those bubble lights I wonder? And that Princess Crown??). Life sent us off in different directions with different dreams.
But this one, there is a special something about it. It has been hovering just out of view. I get a glimpse of it every now and then, sort of like a flash of a twinkling star. Even though I am so far away from people that I love so very, very much, even though I am not quite where I thought I would be at this time in my life; yes even though health and other things have sent out tentacles of worry. This one is a very special Christmas.
Love knows no constraints of time, or place, or even universes. That is what this whole thing about. Love, leaped down from Heaven and became a tiny baby, laying in a manger. Not because it was the “in” thing, or it was the most exclusive, or even that it was earned. No, Love came to us because it is the only thing in the whole of creation that has any value. Love came to us because He knew we were desperate for it.
This Christmas is coming to us with the greatest of Love on the wings of Heavenly Mercy. So, when the sadness sneaks up on me trying to steal my joy, when the memories of things and people who are no more overtake the glow from the Christmas Star; that is what will make this Christmas the very most special. That is when Love strolls through.
Happy Birthday to the Savior King!!!!!