With Christmas coming in at full-speed, now I am humming carols all the time. But I find myself in tune with the ones they don’t play as much on the radio, like “We Need a Little Christmas” from the movie “Auntie Mame.” I half-giggle remembering the scene of Auntie Mame skipping down the stairs of her soon-to-be-emptied mansion from the Depression eating its way into homes. She had the right idea: haul out the holly, put up the tree before her spirit fell again.
I can relate. Sometimes with all the dashing and rushing of Christmas shopping, I find it hard to be light in my feet. Shopping for stuff seems almost a crime right now anyway, what with the grief rippling throughout the nation from Newton. We don’t need stuff. So what do we need? We need a little Christmas, not a lot of big, shiny packages with big price tags.
I find the heart of Christmas in the little things, cliche though it sounds. Yet it’s true. This time of year more than any other, I need to let the other driver go before me, look and smile at the cashier as she counts out my change. It’s in the smile I wear on my face, the dollar bills I stuff into the Salvation Army kettle. Tonight it was slowing down to share in the intimate Vespers time at church, then having a hot meal of ham, scalloped potatoes, mac’n cheese and brownie bars with old friends, while meeting new ones.
The heart of Christmas is in small miracles, in sharing little moments of my life with my husband, family and friends. Sometimes it’s a walk in the park, finding a bright red bird while on a path in Mission Trails. It’s turning my face from my phone and Facebook up towards the night sky to watch a shy half-moon hanging in the cloud-wisps.
But I’m not going to refuse any shiny packages given me, and I’m having fun finding just the right thing for my husband and a few close friends. It’s just that while I’m doing all this, I’m pausing once in awhile to turn off the radio in my car to say a silent prayer. First, for thanks to the Christ Child who gave us life because He gave us his; second, for the wounded and weary in heart who need a little Christmas right this very minute.