Christmas without John
Oh How Glorious was the day.
We didn’t have a traditional Christmas that year. Actually, I didn’t have one until I was fifteen and moved in with my daddy and my new mommy. But, this was the Christmas that the power of CHRISTmas touched my young heart. It was the year I understood what it was the sparkling lights that adorn the neighborhood homes stood for. In my young mind, it was the twinkling of hope each smile of encouragement held. The glow of strength and the representation of good in the police officers eyes. When he checked in on us my mother would scramble to be all, in outward appearances, that a kind loving mother should be. Christmas gifts came packaged and wrapped in the most unexpected of places. Our doorbell rang with no one there but 12 days of gifts. What we received on that front porch as far as physical things I hardly remember. Yet, my heart has continually traveled back to that day when the knocks came filling our little minds with hope, happiness, kindness, and excitement for the next day to come. Mornings began with a pain-free body. Giggles and smiles were shared on the playground as I grew to comprehend why children ran and played.
Sugar plums dancing meant Becky, my mother, was not hosting her nightly parties at that house ever again. Dawna and I, though left alone, danced to the sounds of Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch that stole Christmas, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer putting magic back into that season of our lives. Though for me the truth of these mythical beings had been known for as long as I could remember. Yet, it was fun to fill our minds with the magical hope these cartoons held.
What I learned at Christmas that year and many years of poverty to follow. Christmas doesn’t come wrapped with a bow. It doesn’t come sparkled all aglow. The snow doesn’t fall all on its own. Love can’t be counted in coin or purse. Sacrifice has no death. The impact of charity can last a lifetime. The sweetness of candy canes is not in the sugar but the promise of help they give along your journey. The stable and manger though meek and humble hold a treasure of truth, an X on the map that leads to life eternal. That dear sweet little boy wrapped in clothes came packaged so small and humble that night. Grew to become the greatest gift to us all, a reflection of true love. The shepherds, the Wiseman, the angels above ….. The cops, teachers, neighbors kind acts that came all around me that special Christmas day, they were all following the same light, guided by the light that leads to Christ. Their actions all leading to that baby boy, King of all kings. They were the angels in my life, sent from above, giving me yet another reason to sing glory to God in the highest. Peace on earth good will toward men. All he was and all he represented surrounded me that Christmas. A light that can shine from within each of us. A gift we all can share.