I once read descriptions of love written by children. The words of one young boy became part of me: “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas, if you stop opening presents and listen.”
When you think about all your Christmases, do you remember moments when you felt such love?
I remember riding home in a crowded car from my grandmother’s Christmas Eve party. A glossy meringue of snow swirled across moonlit fields as I searched an unending sky, hoping to find the Christmas star. I held a sleeping baby, my brother Blaine, in my arms; he stirred, then melted back into me. I felt joy: unbidden, complete, unexplainable.
When I was older, Dad, Barbara and I danced wildly to Fats Domino singing “Blueberry Hill” on the record player Santa brought. We held hands and twirled and laughed. At one point, a self-conscious teenager, I ducked my head so the others wouldn’t see the love of family that suddenly swept me.
Home from college for the holidays, I took a late walk with my mother on Christmas Eve. A car crept along the snow-bound street. Its headlights battled snowflakes; its trunk lid bounced high; and a giggling woman drove carefully. As the car passed, a man wearing a grin and a Santa hat, yelled, “Merry Christmas,” from inside the open trunk where he sat, anchoring a pair of bicycles with bright red bows attached.
Mom and I joined their laughter, happy to be part of the Norman Rockwell moment: parents sneaking home with their children’s Christmas bicycles.
Many years later, our 10-year-old grandson showed his friends a Christmas card with two photographs: a young girl deformed by a cleft palate and the same child with a radiant smile. We’d made a donation in the names of our grandchildren to Smile Train, which sponsored her surgery, and wondered how they’d react.
“Look at this,” Jack said to his buddies, “This is the best. For Christmas, we helped the doctors fix her mouth. That’s pretty cool.”
No other holiday scatters sparkling snowflakes of hope and love and faith among us as does Christmas: moments when we recognize our blessings, feel love for one another, and believe in the goodness of others and ourselves.
blessed moment of your own?
Recap of Comments on “The Fine Art of Giving”
A common and important theme about gift giving emerged in the comments and spilled over into a discussion on Facebook: The best Christmas present we can give is our presence.
No words of mine can improve that thought. Please read the compelling comments left by Blaine, Janice, Mercy, and Dawna and consider making presence more important than presents next Christmas.