wishes for christmas
ever since i was little, ever since i’d scurry to bed and begin my nightly imagining, ever since i pretended i lived in my little old log house, the one tucked in the trees i pretended were woods, ever since i pretended i was a little girl growing up on a prairie, and my upturned coffee can was a cookstove, and weeds from the ditch were hay for my cow — my make-believe cow, of course — i’ve been rather accomplished in the department of make-believe.
and so, this particular interlude of days, the ones tucked right before christmas, they’re particularly fine for a girl of make-believe inclinations.
these are the days when you curl in an armchair, when you burrow under the thickest of blankets, when you drink in the crackle and pop of the logs on the hearth (“hearth” is a word a make-believe girl believes in, rather than the more pedestrian “fireplace,” which doesn’t hold nearly as much storybook punch, nor poetry).
once the snowflakes tumble, and the steam rises from the mug of hot coffee, well, you are in heaven on earth if you’re a make-believe girl. the magic swirls all around you.
so what you do is you grab your nearest writing device — the seasonally- charged red pen will do. and you start to unfurl your wonder list, your list of wishes for christmas.
if you’re me, and your heart holds more weight than your piggy bank ever will hold, you scribble yourself into a trance, making believe you could make wishes come true, and counting as high as you possibly can, listing the wishes you wish for.
1. i wish i had a star anise tree outside my kitchen window. i’d have harvested a bumper crop of the nose-tingling intoxicant i’ve been sizzling away in the banged-up pot on the stove. it’s my december’s indulgence.
2. i wish i’d thought to save cute little jars all year long so that now, when i’m wishing i could deliver wagon loads of christmas-y cheer to each and every glowing house near and far, i’d have just the right vessel to fill with star anise (see no. 1), and cinnamon sticks, and orange peel and cloves. i’m pretty much a failure in the martha-stewart department, so i make up for it by pretending i could do these cute little things.
3. i wish i could give my lumbering mailman, the poor fellow who slogs through whatever the weather gods rain down on him — sweltering heat, piles of snow, cats-and-dogs precipitation — i wish i could hand him a desk job. for at least a few days. or a shiny gold coin, because those stories in the news pages always make me all misty-eyed, when the unsuspecting soul reaches into her pocket and pulls out a wee disc of gold bullion.
4. i wish sometimes that my words had magical powers, and that whenever we spoke, our words were heard in the very way we intended. there’s no more heart-shattering moment than realizing what you thought you said, what you meant, was not heard that way at all.
5. i wish people who say mean things would stop for a minute and imagine how those words are going to feel when they pierce someone’s heart like a poisonous arrow.
6. i wish i could bundle up all the weight bearing down on my firstborn’s shoulders, and deliver him soundly and safely to the 13th of january — the day after his senior thesis is due, all 80 pages.
7. i wish i could make the tumors in my dear friend’s lungs please, please, go away.
8. i wish i could tiptoe just outside the kitchen door of all the wonder-souls who’ve been so deeply kind to me these past few weeks, as i wobbled and tried to be brave, as my wee little book took to the world. i wish i could string a hundred thousand lights in each someone’s back yard, in the shape of a giant blinking red heart, and, writing in long strands of itty-bitty bulbs, spell out how much their kindness, their faith, their “you got this!” has meant to my chest-bursting heart.
9. i wish i could wipe away the heartache in everyone i love, especially the very dear friend who’s facing this very first christmas without her beloved.
10. i wish my sister-in-law, the one in far-off maine, lived down the lane. i wish my family room floor was the place where her two little munchkins unwrapped their christmas-y mischief. and that the mug she liked best was ever perched just by the teas, so whenever she flung open the door, she knew i had time to pull up a chair, to discover the joys and the occasional troubles that pound in her heart.
11. i wish i could wish all day. i wish i could make these wishes come true.
12. i wish most of all that every dear and tender heart who stops here, who takes the time to pull up a chair, and drink in a few lines, i wish each and every one of you the great gift of imagining a more blessed way to live and breathe.
maybe, just maybe, if we all make a wish, if we all make a promise to pick just one random act of whimsy or kindness, if we pray hard for the impossible to melt into possible, we’ll all find an extra dollop of magic as we tiptoe ever so quietly toward christmas.
and, by the way, merry merry. may your days be dusted with heart-hoisting joys, and may the quiet of christmas settle in deep in the nooks and the crannies where the blessed is born.
what do you wish for this christmas?
A beautiful and blessed way to start the day. Thanks for sharing your wishes, joys and heartfelt giving spirit in the midst of this season and always at pull-up chair. Beautiful words to ponder during the season, and always.
you are so very welcome. i worried i was dishing deep in corn this morning. but, oh well, tis the season for lavishing big fat dollops of child-like wonder….
I love: “May your days be dusted with heart-hoisting joys.”
I can’t wait to read your book: Slowing Time, it’s sitting on top of my pile of winter reading books. I’m saving it to savor when Connecticut is buried deep in snow and I’m sitting in my reading chair by the fireplace. It’s my Christmas present to myself.
bless your heart. bless it and bless you….
Beautiful thoughts, Barbara !! Just like your book, your blog warms my heart. Merry Christmas from your North-of-the-border Friend.
bless you, dear nancy-up-north!!!!!
As you scatter your dearest Christmas wishes all around, the wishes and dreams I hold in my own heart leap to mind and flutter in mid-air, ever hopeful. May all the good we mean to express, all the love we long to share, all the healing words we wish to speak, all the dearest wishes of our souls become sweet reality. Christmas joy to you and yours, my friend, and love enough to encircle the globe in the coming year. xoxoxo
i love your wishes. i echo each and every one. i imagine us kindling candle wicks, flame to flame, ringing the globe in holiest light….
Again, God bless us everyone!
How did your speaking engagement go?
the speaking went splendidly because the listening was whole-hearted. and that jolly fellow, the one in my heart, he sprang to life in my voice…..
oooooooh sister baPs – nothing would make ME happier than being right next door to you. love you in the millions of ways you shine bright on all of us.
sister becc. you’re nestled into the heart of my wish list, sweet honey. xoxo
Merry Christmas Barb to you and yours. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Your book is a treasure of comfort. Thank you .
oh, what a pure joy to find you here, dear “mrs. crowley!” thank you so so much for your very kind words. they mean so much. merry Christmas to you, too. we loved seeing kathe and jeff up in madison. xox
My wish is for more books by bam.
and my wish would be copy editing by ngw. oh, to once again work side-by-side! xoxox
Now that would be a wish come true!
Now that would be a wish come true!
two-way wishes, i think, have a far better chance of coming true……let’s see if we can make it happen. xoxox
“imagining a more blessed way to live and breathe” … yes. I took a deep breath just reading that. Oh, bam, this is so very beautiful, a mixture of sorrow and hope, words of love for those suffering, understanding for all of us who struggle with our words. And, no fair making me cry. I caught my breath and welled up. My wish is that all your wishes come true. What a nicer world it would be. Prayers to you and yours all through this Hanukkah and Christmas season, with hugs and love from our house to yours. You’re a treasure. xoxo
dear-est “you got this”! twas rather much fun to “tag” you in the love list above, and wonder if you’d spot it. of COURSE you spotted it. i mean it: you and your unwavering heart got me over some of the biggest hurdles of this year. much love. always. xoxoxox
may you know love and receive love today. i say this in airports (in my head) to ever passerby, i imagine each individual walking into their job or humble home and someone greets them unexpectedly with such a loving notion the receiver is bowled over by it and returns it equally thick.
that’s my wish for all…and to you and yours, merry happy holy christmas on that day and all others.
don’t you love scattering wishes wherever you go? it’s like we’ve all got invisible superpowers, and we can scatter goodness and kindness and love hither and yon. i love your wish, sweet terry. i wish it for you. xoxoxo
I start to write and erase because what I wish for does sound like corn. That’s the point during this season of wishes though isn’t it? Don’t we all want those around us hurting from loss or dealing with disease or those I see begging on street corners to feel deep down in their souls for just one moment feel at peace with things? Too feel the love of the one who created us? Maybe to not hurt, or feel pain or not be hungry?
Life is hectic and I am thankful for quiet momets reading your words. Merry Christmas.
dear cari, and merry blessed quiet christmas to you too. i love that you wished here. your wishes are beautiful. thank you for pulling up a chair….
“The wish is the father to the thought”…and so may those deep beautiful wishes above bring small moments of change wherever they land. Wishing is brave, vulnerable and full of faith and hope. This is season for all that. Happy Season of Light to all who pull up a chair. Thank you for another year of beautiful words Bam.
PS: LOVED your December reflection and landing with Krista Tippett On Being….well that is like rocking starlight!
PPS: found this by chance and had to share…
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
Wendell Berry (1934 -)
oh, dear lamcal, whenever wendell berry comes to the table we are all blessed, wrapped in quiet beauty. thank YOU for bringing all your inimitable wisdoms here where you, week after week, you bless us so much. this table is richer for all the chairs pulled up to it…xoxooxox love you, sweet heart. you are my guardian angel.