And so it is Christmas…
December 24, 2010 1 Comment
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year” - Charles Dickens
I always loved Christmas and looked forward to the time (about 2 weeks before the day) that my father would let me into his study to see his latest creation of the year… an elaborate and each year unique three-dimensional rendition of the nativity.
The scene would rise from a large base about 3 foot off the floor featuring valleys, lakes and mountains, the highest of which supporting a fragrant real Christmas tree decorated with tinsel, gold & red glass balls and clip-on white wax candles with beautiful red bows at their base,climbing up to the study’s tall ceiling leaving only enough space for the brilliant silver star to be placed on its top. Each year this massive setting would grow; as he would continually add new figurines and different landscapes, to take nearly one-quarter of his study at my last recollection. It was a thing of wonder…
From the day he would unveil it onward, I would spend my evenings before going to bed admiring the details of the scene, the colored sawdust paths lined by real and fragrant mosses, the skaters in the large frozen lake, the shaped and painted canvas he used to form the mountains with bits of evergreen and patches of snow here and there and the joy in the faces of each figurine placed just so throughout his amazing effort and always aimed at the lit manger where a beautifully sculpted baby Jesus lay flanked by his parents and various animals.
I remember staring at it for hours taking on the scent that forever shall remind me and “be” of Christmas, imagining stories for each of the characters… until my mother would bribe me with some milk and a warm cookie to go to bed. I truly learned to dream and fly as Peter Pan only could, by the power of the scene and the immense love that my father poured into it… and me.
One day in my very early twenties, with his work complete, my bigger-than-life father passed-on and – although I stopped celebrating it for many years afterwards until my beautiful daughters graced this world – that strong Christmas vision and light burnt deep within me, continued and remains a time to celebrate the everlasting gift that was this amazing man.
He did well by me and throughout the year I remember him often and try to live with the same richness and quality that he exemplified throughout his short life. I hope that one day, when my daughters experience their first Christmas without me, that they will be as touched and inspired by a love that has no limitations nor knows of seasons.
This is a time of year that more than any other speaks of rebirth; of letting go and imagining new possibilities. It is a time of softness, of peace, of intimacy and hope.
May you all and those dear to you have a warm and memorable Christmas. May your experiences lead you to feel touched by Joy and Wonder and compelled to share-it-forward every single day. For that is the essence of life… so aptly marked by the event.