Wednesday, December 30, 2009

If you just believe

One year when my boys were small, we went away for Christmas. They were quite excited about the possibility of having a white Christmas because one of their grandmas lived in the mountains. However, they were also quite concerned about how Santa would find them since they would not be at their regular place of residence and tucked into their usual beds.

"You just have to believe," I told them. "No matter where you are, Santa Claus will find you."

And sure enough, Santa found them that Christmas and every Christmas since. For it's been the custom to hang our stockings by the fireplace each Christmas and even my thirty-something son finds his filled.

This Christmas was a little different. I'm living in an apartment with no fireplace and my sons didn't visit me on Christmas. I'd planned to visit my mother at Christmas because I needed to begin establishing a "new normal" routine for this season, but when she had surgery earlier this month and spent two weeks in the hospital, the trip became even more important because she needed help with just about everything while she began her recuperation.

I'd decorated my new apartment with a small tree from the thrift store (why pay $75 for a tree when you can find the same thing for $7.98 at Thrift Mart?) and put a wreath on my door. I wrapped my patio railing with evergreen garland and tiny white lights, and I bought two poinsettias to brighten up my kitchen and dining table. I put out some candles and found a spot to hang the really pretty crystal and mistletoe ornament Angel gave me for Christmas, and in a last-minute fit of tradition, I put a stocking hanger on the built-in bookcase and hung up the stocking my mother made for me when I was a little girl.

The stocking qualifies as an antique now and probably should go in the Smithsonian, but that's another story. I commented in an email to the other Playfriends that I wasn't really sure why I hung it because there'd be no one to fill it.

You see, I'd stopped believing in Santa years ago and so had my boys. But hanging those stockings and filling them with trinkets and candy was just a little piece of their childhood I could hang onto. I saw them both this year on the Sunday before Christmas and instead of trinkets and candy in a stocking, I gave them a Walmart card in a gift card holder (Grandbaby got lots and lots of princess and Tinkerbell stuff including a Tinkerbell Pez dispenser, and that's another story too). Cop-out, I know. I guess I figured that was just part of the "new normal." With the gift card, they could buy food or put gas in their vehicles or purchase socks and underwear if that's what they needed.

So imagine my surprise when I got home from my trip late on Monday and found a message from Santa scribbled on the little white board stuck to my front door. And imagine further surprise when I discovered several small gifts under the tree that I hadn't put there. And color me gobsmacked (don't you just love that word?) when I glanced toward the bookcase and saw my stocking brimming with surprises!

I got a new journal (I almost bought one a few days before because I wanted to start a new one for my journaling -- that's gonna be one of my resolutions -- and counseling sessions in 2010 but hesitated for some reason), and a Starbucks card (tall lattes here I come!), some note cards (to write thank you notes for all my wonderful gifts), lots of candy (Snickers, Reese's peanut butter cups and Kit Kat bars! Santa, you remembered!) and an apple and cinnamon oil diffuser with the little sticks (my office is going to smell so good). Last but not least, a pair of socks with snowmen was stuffed into the toe of my stocking. And as I type this, I'm wearing them to keep my feet warm in the sub-freezing weather we're having in north Alabama.

Isn't it amazing how even when you stop believing, others don't? We all know Santa didn't appear in the flesh at my apartment, but the spirit of Santa did and I think you can all guess which four people make up that spirit.

Enjoy the song below and pay attention to the lyrics printed below the player. And thank you to my special Santas for reminding me I need to keep believing.



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Children sleeping, snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling like bells in the distance
We were dreamers not so long ago
But one by one we all had to grow up
When it seems the magic's slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

Trains move quickly to their journey's end
Destinations are where we begin again
Ships go sailing far across the sea
Trusting starlight to get where they need to be
When it seems that we have lost our way
We find ourselves again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe
If you just believe
If you just believe
If you just believe
Just believe
Just believe
believe

7 comments:

Virginia said...

My son is twenty and Santa still fills his stocking every year! He did this year also. He has a stocking that was made for his as a baby by a friend of mine and he also has a stocking that you could put him in as a baby. We have a photo on him inside the stocking. It brings back memories every year when I get it out.

Anonymous said...

Knowing that AC is approaching the age when children "know" about Santa Claus, I searched for the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial.

And I remind you, "Yes, PM, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

Merry Christmas!
PC's Mom

Maven Linda said...

This is great. It made me smile even though I was teary-eyed. Sometimes Christmas gets buried under the bustle and gifts and hubbub, but every so often something happens that reminds you the real meaning of Christmas is love.

Smarty Pants said...

Argh. Made me cry.

Kathy said...

Unto every child a Christmas light will shine. ;)

God bless you, Marilyn. And, God bless us~ every one.

Instigator said...

I know. I got all World Peace. We love you, PM.

Instigator

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Darn it, I'm late, but hugs, Marilyn. What a beautiful post. :)