24 December 2007

You can call me Virginia...

...because, yes, there is a Santa Claus (referring to this famous newspaper column, written by Francis Pharcellus Church in 1897). Despite everything with even the massive over commercialization of the Christmas season, I still believe in what this holiday can mean to those who wish to see beyond what it has become, and rather in what it is supposed to be: a celebration of community and the wish of peace and joy for humanity. I reread Mr. Church's column every year to remind me what's important, especially as I see us straying further and further away from its ideals with every passing December.

To some of us...myself included...it recalls the joy of childhood and the wonder of surprise that someone really, really 'hears' you, 'knows' your secret desires. Some of us...myself included...still look longingly to the sky, wishing to connect just once with the heavens or at least to those far, far away. Some of us...myself included...still see in Christmas and in the aura of Santa, the hope it gives when sharing a meal, a toy, a gift with some complete stranger, especially so when that gift goes to someone in need. Some of us...myself included...would gladly give up another gift of my own to see some child or adult avoid having to go without. Some of us...myself included...know Christmas, and Santa, is more than just overpriced toys and undervalued jewelry: it's about giving the gifts that are priceless instead. It's not a single holiday; it's an infinite attitude. And some of us...myself certainly included...need to be reminded of that each and every day.

So, every year, I go outside and look heavenward and wonder if Santa will bring those gifts this year instead of his usual bounty. Some of my adult friends say that this is an useless exercise and maybe it is. But maybe it isn't, who really knows?? I still have my childhood faith and hope in Santa...or whatever you want to call him or her...and I still believe in the gifts that keep on giving.

As Mr. Church so eloquently wrote more than a century ago:
The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.
Amen. Love, joy, respect, peace...unseen marvels all.

So, Godspeed, Santa. Godspeed. (And in more ways than one.) We happily await your arrival.

(And for those of you, young or young at heart, who want to track Santa's progress, check out this year's NORAD Santa Tracker. You can see where he's been if you click on the map button tab, and even learn about those places on small video maps that come up...I just had to look at the one with him and the Sydney Opera House. The updates are coming in about every 5 minutes or so, so far anyway. I honestly don't know what his average speed is, though, when crossing the Atlantic and I missed the Pacific crossing from the South Pacific to Asia. As I write this, he just left Monaco.)

Not sure what the plans are for tonight, still have some minor moving to do but the new apartment has no heat in place yet, so that may be struck off the list. (Then, there is also TBS' classic '24 Hours of "A Christmas Story", too.) Tomorrow, the Wise and Wonderful Ricky (if ever a Wise Man existed and gave the present of friendship, I am his ever humble and thankful recipient) and I will have some Cornish hen, the assorted veggie or two, some Aussie wine, watermelon (the last two are as close as I can get to repeating the Christmas of 2005), and some as-of-yet undecided dessert concoction. And then "Beowulf". I am blessed, very blessed indeed.

No matter how you choose to observe your holiday (or not observe, as you wish), I hope your day (well, all of your) days are peaceful, productive, loving, and safe. Blessings and good health to you and yours as well.


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