i wish for christmas
i wish for christmas, for you and for me, i wish that the angel of christmas come tap at your door. or maybe, just maybe, she’ll come to the pane of your window, there where the frost frames the sash.
i wish she slips in when no one is looking, or maybe only just you, maybe you see that she’s come because you find by the sill a feather or two, dropped from her wings, or the fat raggedy satchel she drags close behind, the one she stuffs with all of her blessings.
i wish for you that you know that she’s come because all of a sudden, out of the mist, out of the hustling, the bustling, the forgetting the point, you are suddenly melted with the heart of it all.
i wish for you, and me too, i wish to be bathed and dunked and baptized quite simply in the story of christmas, the story of birth. the story so earthly and holy, at once.
it’s a sweet baby someone, all sticky and wet and covered with blood from his mama’s hard pushing, birthed in the straw of a barn, a barn likely dingy, not swept and not washed.
born amid baa-ing and moos and a hen that was clucking, perhaps.
born by the light of a star and a moon. a birth in the still of the night. a birth that shuddered the world, and stirred wise men, it did, to come on their camels.
it’s a story so pure we tell it again and again.
as the world’s cloaked in darkness, as a chill comes in from the north, we turn to the words of the story. we turn to its undying truth.
and, if the angel of christmas surely does come, if somehow she slips into the room where she’s needed, we suddenly, deeply, feel the whole of the original story.
we make room in the inn of our heart.
we shove aside all of the worries, and all of the noise, maybe for one short window of time, but still we’ve made room.
we usher in the story of birth and a babe and a barn and a heavenly dome of star upon star.
we hunker down in our homes. we leave the troubled old world at the door–just long enough to let the story sink in. to sip from the cup, to break off a chunk of the story that feeds us.
we make christmas within.
we set the table for christmas. put out the plates that come from the shelf just once every year. we pile the clementines into a bowl. we pop out the seeds of the garnet-jeweled fruit, the fat pomegranate that’s waited for christmas.
we kindle the flame, in the tapers of beeswax, in the logs on the grate.
we turn out the lights, except for the ones that are strung on the tree.
we curl in a chair with arms that can hold us.
we let go of all thoughts and all worries and doubts.
we soak, for as long as we can, in the sweet holy syrup of christmas at last.
there is, if we consider the babe, consider the hope born in that barn, much to anoint us in this one star-lit night.
i wish, for you and for me, that this holy christmas, you find the one treasure that came to that manger.
i wish for the great gift of peace–true peace, peace like a pond that only just ripples–i wish for the rare gift of christmas unwrapped to settle quite deep in your heart.
merry blessed day of deep birth.
may it linger and last till the darkness is lifted, and the star shines again in the east, and the north and the south and the west…