Let There Be Light

It’s the darkest time of the year, but it’s also the season of light- a time for reflection and peace. When I was little I found magic in Santa Claus- the milk and cookies I left out for him that would disappear come morning, a letter in their place. The glittery lawn and chewed carrots from his reindeer. The pile of presents from the north pole under our traditionally, and almost impossibly large Christmas tree.

It’s also a time for appreciating the friends and family who are with us, and honoring the memory of those who are not. One of these people is my grandpa Hank, who was a central part of Christmas in my memories. Although he is no longer with us, his enthusiasm for the holiday and a ridiculously large tree has stayed. In fact, the trees have just gotten taller. My memories of the past ones are skewed because I was so little, so now that I’m (a little) taller the tree is bigger than ever. Other traditions live on, like incessant classic Christmas music, wrapping presents for stockings on Christmas eve, stollen bread, buying presents for yourself (it’s okay they’re from Santa), and vases of irises. We continue all these traditions to recreate Christmases from the past and to keep that spirit alive.

As I’ve grown older the magic of Santa has faded away, but I’ve discovered that you can find holiday magic at any age. In the smell of fresh Christmas trees, apple cider, and baking cookies, the laughing and chatter of family and friends, and the excitement of wrapping up presents to give to them.

The holidays are a time for giving. Giving light, hope, warmth, cheer- giving presents wrapped up and carefully tied with a bow. Whatever holiday you celebrate, however old you are, take some time this season to give and be a light in this dark (and sometimes cold) time of year.

Happy holidays!

*If you are looking for a project to give to, have a look at Health in Harmony, The Heifer Project, or Kiva (where my family and I give)


3 thoughts on “Let There Be Light

  1. I think Grandpa Hank would be thrilled with your love of the grownup magic of Christmas. On our mantle there’s a picture of him holding you in front of the tree in his living room, you are about 2 feet tall, so the tree is HUGE next to you (and so is he).

    I love love love the picture of the stack of cookies on the table with the big tree in the background — and the one w/ the blue icing dots in the foreground. Is it possible to make too many Christmas cookies? Research seems to say no such thing! 🙂

  2. Emma;
    I loved it when you helped decorate my tree, a special treat for me and one I look forward to each Christmas. We set up the tree, put on the lights and wait for Emma. When you were ever so little you would carefully take out all the ornaments, separating those that would break. You would put all the soft and non breakable ones close to the floor so no one would break anything. One year you lined up all the cows we have from Switzerland in a row around the tree bottom. Last year you could reach almost to the top, definitely with a chair. (My tree in front of the mirror is not as tall as yours, no ladder needed.)

    Then came Santa Claus with his one reindeer that you draped with bells you found somewhere. He always has a special place by the fireplace.

    Taking out the creche and the animals, some a bit old and missing some limbs and setting them all out with a little bit of this and a little of that, made that particular part of the room glow.

    I look forward to another year when we can create beautiful memories together.

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