Reflections in a Christmas Moon

mouseThere will be a full moon on Christmas Day – the first for 38 years. As I drove home from visiting family I thought about how much my life has changed in 38 years. Back then I was unlikely to have paid any attention to what the moon was doing on Christmas Day. I was a young adult almost too cool for the magic of the holiday season. As had happened in other years I spent my day at my parents house with my shiny new fiance in tow. There had been a lot of negotiating to make it possible to be with my parents for dinner and not his. I vaguely remember promising to go to his parents the next year. Of course, a precedent had been set so my Mum’s was where we went for Christmas dinner every year.

Even when first husband was a distant memory the tradition of gathering at my Mum’s house continued. Seeing the family expand to grandchildren, partners, parents of partners, aunties was fascinating. The memories I have of those Christmas day gatherings are very special. Somehow we all had roofs over our heads, we were working, we could look forward to gifts, a hearty meal and plenty of it. I’m not sure I counted those blessings enough. Today I drove past the house my Mum & Dad built. They worked so hard to provide for us. There were always presents no matter how much scrimping and saving had to go on for the rest of the year. We were fortunate enough to have new clothes, shoes and coats every year.

I remembered when I was finally allowed to join in the truth behind the best kept secret ever. About age 9 I was allowed to help my Mum wrap the presents that Santa can’t always get round to. He’s very busy so he has a lot of honorary elves – like my Mum – who give him a hand. I was sworn to secrecy too and each Christmas Eve afterwards I joined her as a trainee elf. Santa always kept my presents back so I could get a surprise in the morning too & the secret would remain safe. Tonight, on another Christmas Eve, I’m about to be an honorary elf again. I love my tradition of wrapping my daughter’s presents late at night waiting for a magical day to begin.

The magic isn’t in any religious tradition really. The magic is that parents all over the world, at this time of year, celebrate that wonderful gift – children. There is something so awesome about your child waking you up overflowing with excitement, bouncing with energy, fully caught up in the mystery of it all. It’s a belief in magic that can easily & quickly be stripped away by the reality of life. There are families who don’t have a roof over their heads, or are unable to afford a decent meal or who have become so disjointed that the sense of togetherness has all but disappeared. It is so easy to loose the connection with one another. There are real challenges in a world where we are prepared to let children starve or be killed.

I was counting my blessing over and over on the way home. I left a brand new family enjoying all the anticipation of their son’s first Christmas. I thought about the pride of the grandma who told us how excited her four year old grand-daughter was to know that Santa was on his way. I have my family around me tonight as we follow our family traditions. I also have my family of friends who have been popping in and out all month to bring alive the connections we share. I have precious memories of Christmas Past to warm my heart. I have ‘A Visit From St Nicholas’ running through my head. I must have said it a thousand times already for my daughter but still we share a giggle over the recitation of the poem.

The only people I don’t have on the Earth are my Mum & Dad. They returned to the pink perfect within a short time of each other. Yet I have them in the Spirit World. I know that they can be everywhere, every when so I’m sure that tomorrow they will look in on every one of our families to share the love, joy and celebration of each of us. They gifted us life and as Spirit they care deeply that we live as well as we can. No matter what your family circumstances you will be surrounded by love tomorrow as you always are. Take a moment of time to sense their presence and feel that love.

Now I have presents to wrap! And in case you have forgotten the Night Before Christmas –

By Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Day 38 of my blogging challenge.

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