Yes, it’s been a long time, but here’s a new one. Let me know if you think it’s too, well, not happy enough. It’s scheduled to run in the December 24 edition of the Alameda Sun.
All I want for Christmas is a Miracle
I so wanted this to be a Holiday Miracle story. I keep reading them, in magazines and the newspaper, on the Internet. They are everywhere. I religiously watch the same movies every year on TV. (I even watch the silly, corny ones; I just can’t help myself.) These stories are truly amazing, whether they are based on actual events or fabricated. At the last minute, on Christmas Eve, something magical happens—“It’s a Christmas Miracle!”—and you can fill in the ending on your own: He made it home. They kissed. The present arrived under the tree when there was no money to pay for it. She survived. They lived happily ever after.
I wish I had my own Christmas Miracle story to tell you now, to affect you and change your life. But I come up empty.
The second biggest Christmas Miracle story of them all (after that first One, which seems to get lost in the mayhem somehow) is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Countless renditions of the Scrooge story have been revised and rewritten based on the original cranky old man who gets a new lease on life. The story transcends religious affiliation; anyone can change if they see enough Ghosts of the Past or the gloomy, hooded Future. This story gives me hope for my own redemption, because every year, no matter how much I try to change my attitude or how many shows I watch, I pray for the whole season to pass quickly into January.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in Christmas and the possibility of its Miracles. I also believe in Heaven, ghosts and fairies. I am the first to clap when I see Peter Pan and they ask for the audience to believe, to clap to keep Tinkerbell alive. And, absolutely, that was your late grandmother who knocked over her photograph to let you know she was in the room. Heaven is whatever you want it to be.
It’s not really my fault, this obsession with Holiday Miracles. The intrinsic need for miracles at this time of the year begins at an early age. It’s not only the miracle birth of a baby in Bethlehem, if you are a Christian, or the miracle of the container of oil, if you’re Jewish, or the miracle of Santa Claus for just about everyone else. (“How does he get around the world to every single house in just one night, Mommy?”) I learned these stories from my parents and I have gladly, happily even, handed them down to my children. It’s easier to create Holiday Miracles when you are dealing with little ones. If he sees you when you’re sleeping, he can make anything happen, right? It was as traumatic for me as it was for my girls when they finally figured out that Santa was just Mom and now we can negotiate about the presents each year. What happens to the magic of Christmas when the children have all grown up?
I guess I’ll continue reading the stories and watching the movies time and again with that tiny seed of hope for my very special Holiday Miracle. In the end, I’m not completely certain that it’s really one big miracle. It’s a specific series of events that create a miracle, just as a specific series of events create a life, which truly is the ultimate miracle. And, in this life, sometimes you just have to let go and go about your business. That Miracle just might happen. And, maybe that’s what the spirit of the season is all about.
May we all experience a miracle to call our own this season. xo