Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Snowmiser, Heatmiser and Scrooge

This was originally posted on December 23, 2010

Photo taken by paulabflat
Christmas. It is not about the shopping. It is not about the gifts. It is not about the decorations. I understand the meaning logically and traditionally: God became flesh in the form of Baby Jesus who grew up and died for my mistakes: the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies.  For many, Christmas does not have spiritual significance. It is simply a time of giving, participating in charities or changing the house decorations.  

My early childhood was spent with my Dad in the Air Force.  These Christmases were celebrated in the land of Snowmiser.  

Photo taken by jzlomek
New Mexico; a sprinkling of snow frosted the lawns and the sidewalks were lined with Luminarias.  The simplicity of a brown lunch bag weighted with sand and security for the lit candle placed inside was breathtaking.  My Mom told me it was to remind us of the path Mary and Joseph took to find a place to stay in Bethlehem.   

My Dad was transferred to Utah. We lived near Grandparents. Snow billowed everywhere. Snow people set up residences in their front and back yards where they would live undisturbed until spring.  These Grandparents were affectionate, and honest.  Their home was filled with light, laughter and magic. They were not perfect, but a deep feeling of love flavored the air.  Santa magically brought presents and no matter where we were, he somehow knew where I was. I was never lost to him.  It was my first glimpse of how God saw me.  Santa was the image of a loving heavenly being that somehow knew everything about me and everywhere I was.  He was the image of God was made concrete.

When we transitioned into civilian life and moved to California, the land of Heatmiser.  

The California winters I grew up with were gloomy grey skies that last for days. The air was colder than any Utah blizzard I would walk to school in. That chill settled deep into my bones and wouldn’t go away until the first unforgiving blast of summer sun. 

Photo taken by coopah

These California grandparents were the cranky kind. Their house had no natural light. They spoke to me only when necessary. Christmases in their house matched Mad Hatter’s tea parties. The cherry on top was my parents’ crisis of conscience. They didn't want to lie to us anymore.

There was no Santa.

I had already kind of figured it out at my sage age of 9. None the less, the magic of Christmas was lost for a while. I wondered if God had forgotten me. I knew he was real, but did he care for me? 

Then…My Dad was out of work. My parents sat us down and prepared us for the worst. There would probably be no presents under the tree. 

Christmas morning dawned. I resolved myself to be thankful for anything. The four of us walked the hallway to the Christmas tree. Then the unimaginable…

Photo taken by phaewilk

That morning Santa was real. He gave me a Mandy doll. She was beautiful, perfect and completely unexpected. He was not a jolly, white bearded fat man. He was God. Written on my heart in a tangible way was a reality of the Divine. He cared for me enough to give me something.  I every time I looked at that doll I was reminded that miracles still happen. I knew God was real and from that moment on, I clung to him. He loved me. He saw me wherever I was. He extended to me grace and forgiveness. He was my true Santa. 

Years later, I faced a lean Christmas with my children. We curled up to watch “A Christmas Carol.”  I realized my attitude about Christmas was similar to Scrooge’s.

I had forgotten the miracle. 

I watched Scrooge on his knees begging for another Christmas from the Ghost of Christmas Future and I saw myself. His promises to give the gift of friendship, help where he could, grace and blessings to his fellow man became my own. His promised to keep the Spirit of Christmas all year round did not come natural for him. It would be a deliberate action; fueled by memories of joy from Fezziwig’s counting house; he left behind the sorrows of being left alone at school.
Photo taken by anon

I discovered a box deep within myself filled with sorrows of Christmas past. Like Scrooge, I decided to put away the sorrows and hold tight to Christmas’ spirit of giving. It isn’t the Christmas Pasts that defines Christmas. It is the Christmas Present. These gifts should not be limited to a day, but are to be present in each moment of my life.

A Mother Life

1 comment:

  1. Christmas will always hold a very special place in my heart. I have wonderful childhood memories. Thanks for sharing yours by hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up... Oh wow Christmas is really only 150 days away!


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