As we begin this first full week of December, Christmas is only three weeks from today—Sunday, December 25. 2016 certainly has sped through the calendar pages like Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Anticipation of the approaching day is always high, especially with children. For parents as well, anxiety is high for finding the perfect assortment of presents for Suzy or Johnny under that mystical tree by the gas-fueled fireplace.
It’s unfortunate that Santa Claus only exits in fiction. If the jolly elf was real, parents could alieve their anxieties without that expensive counseling session or taking a Valium® or Xanax®.
As every child knows, Santa has the list, and he knows what every boy and girl wants. It may not be what they need, but it’s what they want at this particular moment of time.
As the music plays; sensing the children’s excitement, the dog barks; on the sofa the cat’s lackadaisical response is blatant; the carefully wrapped paper with snowmen, reindeer and hippos is torn from presents, and weary parents find some satisfaction in their endeavors as they watch their children’s faces. Suzy and Johnny have their epiphany of joy.
The flip side of this reality is that a great number of children on this planet traversing the cosmos have no understanding of Christmas. To them it will be like any other day.
For many it will be another day of war, famine, disease—the list of miseries could go on like Santa’s naughty list. For them and their parents, if they have survived, there is no star to guide them out of this living miasma.
In my story about the Piper Family on Christmas Eve A Knock at the Shop’s Door: A Christmas Eve Short Story, certain citizens of the mountain hamlet of Temperance rally to give the Piper Family a glorious Christmas.
There is always someone in need at Christmas. It does not take the biblical Magi or Dickens’ three ghosts to bring someone a star of hope on Christmas.
It takes only a few moments to kindle a candle. As the soft light reflects in the eyes of the beholder, the spirit of the season is refreshed like December snow.
For Christmas snow is magical. If it dwells in the heart, then this magic is shared with those in need of a warm cup of hope and joy.
As the story ends on that Christmas Eve in that mountain hamlet of Temperance:
“Looking back into the Piper’s living room, they saw Jamie lifting his youngest sister up to place the star on the tree. As the star swayed on the treetop, it caught the light from the fireplace and seemed to glow with radiance like sun light reflected off morning snow.
“Down the street they heard the soft sounds of carolers singing The First Noel. Without saying a word they smiled and departed for their homes.
“Down in the valley one family was grateful for the generosity of their fellow hamlet dwellers. Their Christmas would not be bleak and dreary because on that Christmas Eve a man, his wife, and a young man and woman made a difference for one family in their community.
“May this Christmas Eve and Christmas day find you blessed with the generosity of spirit. May you live Christmas well by sharing your gold and myrrh and frankincense.”
G. D. Williams © 2016
A Knock at the Shop’s Door: A Christmas Eve Short Story
The First Noel-Bing Crosby