Friday, December 21, 2007


With each passing year, the Christmas season takes on different meaning with children aging, family members passing, and the world becoming more and more a hostile environment for the development of peace and goodwill.

In the past it has been easier for me to get into the conga line of holiday revelry. All the preparations necessary to pull off a decent Christmas for family and friends has been enough to get me going for years, but this year I've just wanted to retreat and have waited for some real inspiration to descend on me like a heavenly host with trumpets blaring and setting my spirit of this morning I was still waiting.

I thought last night about how it always seems to come in small private ways. Not among the merriment of a party or the opening of a package but much like an old friend who you haven't seen in a long time that just comes up behind you with a tap on the shoulder.....I went to bed praying for the tap to arrive soon.

I can remember it pulled up one year as I was sitting in traffic and a city bus was across the street humming loudly as it was loading passengers. My eye caught an older black gentleman sitting on the bus just looking my way. We both smiled at each other and he raised his hand in a wave and mouthed "Merry Christmas "to me. Then the bus rolled away and I was left with a lighter heart and a wonderous feeling of connection.

Another time, it was as simple as hearing Johnny Mathis singing.

This year, feeling tired, and just down right uninterested has made Advent just one long dreaded day. Lack of interest in passing on any holiday wishes had pushed me into getting out the last of the obligatory cards before beginning my job duties at work. As I shoving the address book back into my bag, a small cut-out article that someone gave me a few years ago, which I never took the time to read, fell out in front of me. It was titled "How to have a more joyful Christmas."

Skimming it I came to a quote by Helen Keller "The seeing see little." Now I take this to mean that we aren't looking with our hearts otherwise we would see the obvious.

It's like I've had my glasses on my head and have been running around looking for them. I'm suddenly flooded with images of pure joy that I have wandered past totally unaware. Everything from sweet memories of friends and family who are no longer present right down to the joke my son told me on the way to school, the smell of my daughter's hair as she hugged me last night, to the St. Brendan's Irish cream my husband poured in my coffee this morning.

Here is to you seeing all the joy in your christmas season and in the new year.