When I was a little girl, my days seemed to drift into a slow spin, seemingly lasting close to forever. I remember my mother complaining that she didn’t have enough time in a day to get everything done she needed to do. Huh? She laughed at me, and said, “You just wait and see.” Sure enough, time rushes by. The days still seem long enough, but the years fly by in a whirling slew of events I recall but not in proper sequence or time location. Big events, like the year my family learned to ski in Colorado, are easy to locate along the time continuum, but others are not.
Christmases blur together, but one or two stand out like huge statues of chocolate and eggnog deliciousness. My eighth year of life — Santa Claus gave me a bicycle and a chemistry set. My fourteenth year, he gave me a record player and a Monkees album.
Before you protest, I believe in Santa Claus and I love the Monkees. You could argue my choice of the Monkees is lame, since the Beatles are obviously more talented musicians. But, I do not accept the argument that Santa Claus “will take you to hell” as I observed related in a disgusting, idiotic online video the other day. And I truly feel sorry for the children I saw in that same video, children who have learned at such a young age to hate an ideal they do not and now never will understand.
Saint Nicolas is an ideal figure. He is not Jesus Christ. I do not worship him. But I admire the bishop who began the tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Eve to honor the Christ Child and to bring some much needed joy to poor children.
For me, several Christmases of my own and for my children are memorable milestones in a blur of time. I remember my son’s first Christmas: as I carried him into the living room of my parents’ home, his eyes widened when he saw the small pile of toys on the floor. He knew these were gifts for him; and he was happy. He was only twelve months old, but he knew this mark in time.
Father God, thank You for Your many gifts. May we always be grateful. In Jesus’ Name, amen.