… on welcoming christmas

Christmas Eve sunrise in Maine, 2020


My brain got busy this morning before there was even a hint of light in the still-snoozing sky.

Not being able to get back to sleep, Belle and I made our way downstairs and turned on (well, I turned on) only the Christmas lights…


Twinkling strands here and there…

The tree.

Not wanting to disturb the slumber of those upstairs, I slid on stocking feet past the coffee grinder and chose a packet of tea from its glass jar.

It’s a Wonderful Life was soon playing on the living room television, and I held a warm mug in my hands.

It took until George Bailey leapt off the bridge, to save Clarence-the-angel from the waters below, for the sunrise’s promise to call me outside.

And as I stood beside my little dock tree, lit up on this Christmas Eve morning, the strongest senses of peace and place washed over, and settled into me.

With everything that this past year has been for us all – from the wonders to the heartbreaks – Christmas has come, as it will always.

It may be a different Christmas, perhaps more quiet than in years gone by…

Fewer voices and visits…

IOU coupons for hugs.

But here’s the thing.

This Christmas joins ones that have come and passed before.

Christmases during wars and famines, during plagues and dinosaur extinctions… Christmases where we get to decide if the spirit of it all – the sense of hope and faith, mixed with love and joy, magic and wonder – comes to us from somewhere out there….

Or from somewhere in here.

For those of you not sitting with me by the fire, I just pointed to the general vicinity of my heart. 

Number One Son Sam and I were talking a few weeks ago, and as our conversation meandered all over the place – as it often does with us – we lighted on the idea of the Whos down in Whoville.

You remember them.

They had every ‘out there’ Christmas thing taken from them… every toy and decoration and stocking and tree and pudding and roast beast (and even the log from their fire)… by that Grinch.

Sure, it’s a children’s book.

But replace those toys and puddings and decorations with the theft of certainty and safety and the presence of all those we love… and you get the picture.

So back to that light.

If we depend on external forces gifting it to us, things get if-y in the Christmas spirit department.


If it comes from within, if we can stoke the embers and flames to warm our inner hearths… well… that has a side benefit of confusing the heck out of any universal (or even human-based) attempt to Grinch-up the works.

These days, it feels a little bit like a subversive act.

So grab the dang kindling!

Fire up the hope that things will get better…

The faith that we will be better…

The magic for every child you see who is absolutely buzzing with anticipation for a certain jolly old elf in a red suit, flown around the world by eight nine reindeer…

The gratitude for this world, and all that is good and wondrous about and within it…

Each other.

And tomorrow, whether in person or virtually, join hands and sing…

To yourself or out loud…

And know that we will be standing heart to heart and hand in hand… again.

Welcome Christmas, bring your cheer
Cheer to all whos far and near
Christmas day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas day will always be, just as long as we have we
Welcome Christmas, while we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for readin’ (also, grateful nods to Dr. Seuss).

Comments and shares are always appreciated, and you can do that right here (well, not, like, RIGHT here… down there. See?). You can also join fellow ponderers over on the Just Ponderin’ Facebook page (there’s a bit of extra stuff too – from photos to observations to conversations. C’mon over any time!)

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