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…
yes, blessed day, blessed time of the year when we all gather together as one. this peace for all is here in my heart and i thank you for putting it so beautifully. the angel has found her way to my inner and outer world, i do not long so for yesterdays, though i savor the sweet remembrances.i wish for you a complete joy in your moments, peace in your sleep, surprise in your morning, and the bundle of love that comes from those near and dear.these words of love, yours and mine- may they bless all who read them and those who mgiht receive them through their echoes.much love and thanks-terry aka true
blessed true, you are icing on the christmas cake….the power of typing in unison, in knowing the christmas angel has come to your heart….it’s a simple little thing, this thing we wish for, and that it’s come is nothing short of a miracle. she came to my house, indeed. she came as i watched my highschooler nibble the cookies on the santa plate, a rite of passage to be sure–the first time he was invited into the secret of santa. he got way into it, penned a thank you from santa to the little one, marked it with hoof prints from the reindeer, crumpled it just so, so it looked as if it had been stashed in santa’s pouch. wanted to burn the edges with a match, harking back to some middle school pirate map, but i put a stop to that plan, thinking he might set off the smoke alarm and holy cow wouldn’t that be something to have the little one lurch from his bed to find the two of us making like we were the fat jolly old elf. i can’t wait to hear–if anyone’s rustling this morn–just how and when the christmas angel melted you this fine merry christmas……
I am reveling in my “day after’ mode….all are still asleep, my coffee is hot, and the house is blissfully quiet – except for the echoes of laughter, conversations, and family noises that are wandering through my head. Not only from this Christmas, but from many. I am surrounded by Christmas leftovers….bags of paper to be recycled, glitter from my dear daughter’s ornament project for her boyfriend’s family (glitter that now is being carried throughout the house by the dog), piles of books that await quiet winter evenings, abandoned winter wear, dishes to be put in order and the wonderful feeling that comes with the knowledge that I have nowhere to go today or need to be there for anyone. It was a most poignant Christmas this year…my children are young adults and moving into their own worlds and some most dear friends have left my world for whatever it is that waits for us. The angel of Christmas was with me in both my happiest and sadddest moments of these last few days and she held my hand while I realized that I could hold both feelings in my heart at the same time. She said “be not afraid”….such an angel thing to say! I am off to sort, straighten, and simplify my home today. I hope all of you who find your way to the table this week are safe and peaceful. See you round the table of our most dear Bam…love the angel and most especially love the bow in the background!
The Christmas angel visited me in the still of the night this past Monday as I sat in the dark at Old St. Pat’s for their first ever Christmas night vigil. The appeal of it was the quiet stillness in the midst of the noisy rush. We planned to go, just my husband and me, but the hectic lives of three teens, a snowfall and a traffic jam resulted in all five of us converging in the church in quiet candlelight for an hour and a half. I had trepidations. I feared my 13 year old would revolt. Maybe the 15 and 17 year olds too. But the Christmas angel came wrapped in the beauty of the old church lit by candlelight, the sounds of holy music filling the sacred space, meditations that touched our hearts and a deep sense of peace that permeated the place. We left – each of us with a candle lit from the advent wreath – and it was so blessedly wonderful. We brought those candles home and placed them on our table – a tangible reminder of that quiet night vigil and its promise of peace. I’m hoping the Christmas angel stays close by – reminding us of the promise now and in the new year to come.
i love this, collecting the stories of stillness and angels. it is as if we are each passing round the table our most breathtakingly wrapped boxes, the ones with bows that never get wrinkled. as i read each story of just where and when and how christmas was found i find myself sighing and feeling your christmas in my own little heart.lamcal, i love love love your angel’s words: be not afraid….holding both joy and sorrow at once. christmas is like that. so many stories echo inside us, the sweet and the sad, and it all comes tumbling out in a messy sort of tear-stained soup. only we lick the taste of those tears, for somehow they heal us, they knit us back into wholeness as we remember the ones who aren’t there any longer, as we think back to not so many years ago when the now 6-foot-1 merrymakers were pulled up to the table in highchairs, getting a taste of their first yorkshire pudding……the years, where did they go? and isn’t it all so delicious now, with these great-thinking souls all around us….and hh, the vigil of which you write sounds wholly magical. so simple. yet deep. i often wonder why churches don’t sometimes do such simple profound things, like merely unlock the door, light a single candle, and allow some of us a simple place to come breathe. for breathing in a church, a dimly lit one, runs chills down my spine in a way that praying alone in my room barely ever does…..there is something about the place, and the getting there, that ramps it all up. thank you for inviting us into that great old celtic church, here with your words, you storyteller you…..