As the midnight hour approaches on Christmas eve and will be passed by the time I finish writing and publishing this post, I am reminded once more of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carole. It is a story that has probably been told every Christmas since it was first written and published but as I think about this time around, it has taken on a new and fresh meaning as being one who has lost both my long time beloved wife just a few months ago and our son is now living on his own in California and I will be spending Christmas alone for yet the third year in a row with neither family nor trappings of the holiday.
Without going into a recap of the story, known so well by all, I will come to the point of this post which is that most adults look at Christmas with nostalgia for both the good and painful memories of Christmas past and often become so stuck in the memories of the past that they miss both the magic and wonder of experiencing Christmas in the here and now, as children do.
I was talking to a co-worker the other night and I asked her if she was ready for Christmas. What she answered with was all the things she had left to do and finished her story with “After all, Christmas is really for the children” or something to that effect. I thought again about the fact that I had no family with which to spend my Christmas and that I may actually spend Christmas alone, a prospect that saddened me for just a moment when I realized that I had been given the greatest Christmas gift I could ever possibly receive, which was the gift of loving myself and my life as I have been creating for myself since that Christmas two years ago when my beloved wife was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
The following Christmas was last year, living with a friend who had taken me in when my beloved asked me to move out for awhile so that she could handle her illness alone and which now had become almost a full year. In that time, I had my double hip replacement surgery that previous summer and had come out to begin my new life as Deanna and once again, I spent that Christmas alone and again without the trappings, as I had the year before.
Now, after a year in transition, I have been able to reach the point where I have been once again able to experience both the magic and wonderment of Christmas I had as a child by not worrying about myself and instead just reaching out to everyone I meet, both friend and stranger, to wish them the peace and love of the Christos within, which I am now experiencing for myself. It is a feeling I would love to share as I have come to know it but cannot because the peace and love I now feel within me is one that can only be shared with those who are willing and able to receive it by their own say so.
As it is already an hour past midnight and I want to get tucked into bed with my Teddy Bear and my loving Pumpkin, so I will simply end with that famous quote from the poem The Night Before Christmas.”
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!