03 Dec A More Colorful Christmas
A MORE COLORFUL CHRISTMAS?
Christmas Eve, 1967.
An overly-excited little blond boy lies wide-awake in his bed. Sleep simply won’t visit. He scampers down the hallway into his little sister’s room. Somehow, Monica’s already dreaming of dancing dolls and sugar plums, so brother slips silently into the twin bed on the other side of her room. It’s not fear that drives the little guy. He’s drawn to the glow of the three green Christmas candles in his sister’s window. He cuddles up closely to his red, round, plastic radio and listens to the Christmas music looping all night long from the local AM station. Over and over he hears Bing sing, “If I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep.” And then there’s, “The Little Drummer Boy” and of course, Mom’s favorite, “Silent Night”.
Before dawn’s early light, the little boy begs his mom and dad to get out of bed. After what seems an interminable amount of time, his parents finally acquiesce.
Now all four Salmonses are creeping down our long hallway towards Christmas Fantasy Land, where Santa has emptied a sack full of goodies in the family room. We immediately notice he enjoyed his milk and cookies. He actually has left us a note of gratitude for the goodies! One year he left behind a swatch of red material on a fire dog because he ripped his britches on his way back up the chimney!
Fast forward to Christmas Time, 2020. I sit silently with Lucy amidst a different set of decorations. Contentment, gratitude and humility settle in my spirit.
Why do Christmas lights seem more beautiful to me this year? It’s counter-intuitive. This is the year we nearly lost Lucy. There is so much suffering in the world right now. Confusion seems to continually fuel the chaos. Maybe I just answered my own question. Could it be that the backdrop of cultural darkness can actually accentuate our Christmas celebration? This Season of Light seems brighter than usual. Smiles are more prevalent. People are sincerely trying. Hope can take hold if we look to Heaven.
As I read in Colossians, chapter three, it’s good to be one with Christ at all times- but maybe especially so in times of crisis. Parades may be canceled and malls may be less crowded because of the pandemic. But nothing can cancel Christmas. No mandate can dictate that we must miss the birthday party of the Prince of Peace… because it’s a spiritual celebration. We can try to stay safe and still celebrate.
In the headlines, things look a little gloomy, but in my memory, those three green Christmas candles from yesteryear are burning brighter than ever.
Written by my friend….Gary Salmons