Monday, December 24, 2012


When something, or someone, is coming, it's time to get ready.
Be it the arrival of the innocence of the Christchild, or of longer days full of light, Santa Claus, or the open ended and hopeful possibilities of the impending New Year.

Here in East Tennessee, we are readying. Mother has her first week of chemo treatment down. She and Daddy are both a year older-- we have feted and celebrated them, though Daddy has requested not to have his now traditional ice box fruitcake in honor of him. (The rest of the family is sad about this, so I may have to pull one out before we depart for the next leg of celebration northerly, where I will make it yet again.)

This will be the first time in my memory without a true Advent wreath to light at Mother and Daddy's here on Christmas Eve. We will certainly have to light a candle tonight, and it would give my heart great joy to hear our son read the birth story from his Uncle Jeffrey's childhood Bible, which lives in the room upstairs in which we sleep here.

As I write, Mother is drinking tea and eating a cookie brought us by a neighbor at home in Nashville, and a pumpkin muffin brought here by my sister in law. My Mister has helped The Boy hang his series of (eight) Santa letters -- some directive, some requesting. They are even now creating a snack for the reindeer.

Our butter is room temp for pie crusts and for our favorite holiday cookies which will be baked up this evening for Santa and the rest of us, too.

I have addressed a second raft of Christmas cards, and last night before bedtime, our Boy wrote all the letters to Santa, and today once his father arrived, we've begun to make our time honored Santa Box (in which the big man delivers presents to the La Grone children and theirs.)

The questions at bedtime included, "Do you believe in Santa? What would you ask him if you could? I'd ask him if he's real. And if he has magic dust."

I think about how sometimes we wonder are YOU real, God? Do YOU have magic dust? Is Jesus real?

I made my own peace with that some time ago, agreeing with myself to let the mystery be. I have tried to impart this open hearted belief in believing to my child. The willingness to allow ourselves to be steeped in a love even bigger than Van Morrison's love that loves to love that loves to love.... The ability to say, "What?!" and then create a stronger purpose for holding on another year when a friend says "Santa's not real, my parents TOLD me."

Does it matter if you call your belief Santa or God or Christchild or New Season?

I am not sure it does, to be honest.

I choose to believe. I choose to hold onto faith, to expect Light. To await the miracle of the Christchild with wonder and with reverence. I choose to believe that chemotherapy may help my sweet mother by shrinking her brain tumor. I choose to delight in cookies and ice box fruit cake, letters to Santa and wrapping bits and bobs like books and lipsticks and handmade treats in colorful paper, with, I have to believe, all the love and wonder of the three kings with their gifts of frankincense, gold and myrh.

I KNOW they came to see Jesus as a toddler. That they didn't actually appear at a manger bed while cattle were lowing and angels hollered, "Hark!"

The timing on this is immaterial to me, because I have chosen preparation. I have chosen the kind of love that can not be explained, but can be felt right here among the ones I cherish, the ones close to birth, and the ones closer still to death.

We are waiting. We await. We stretch our hearts larger yet again, and walk into darkness unafraid, expecting Light.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Merry Christmas, Belief, Expectation and Faith make life more Peacful and beautiful. Thanks for sharing on this Christmas night. CMS TX