My name is Elsa. I don’t believe in Santa Claus any more. I am nine years old. My mommy and daddy buy me toys from Wal-Mart and Target. My mommy went to the store really early on Black Friday and another car hit her bumper and she got really mad because she wasn’t the first one in the store. She had to call a wrecker and then Daddy’s face turned all red and they yelled at each other. But I think it will be OK at Christmas because they were laughing the other night while they drank their wine and played Christmas music. I like Christmas and it’s OK that Santa isn’t real because it will still be fun… I think.
My friend just called with a dream she had last night. In her dream, she and her ex-husband decided to adopt a child. They arrive at the agency where she notices a beautiful little girl in a wheelchair. The child has Muscular Dystrophy. She moves toward the child and embraces her. The girl reaches up her thin arms and hugs my friend with all her strength and love.
My name is Manuel and I am sixteen. My mom doesn’t have enough money for Christmas this year, and that’s OK by me. It would be nice if Marcia could get a doll or somethin’, but who knows? Christmas don’t mean nothin’, really. Mom has to work at the restaurant Christmas Eve, no surprise there. I’ll probably just go hang out with the dudes, you know. It’s just like any other day.
This year Paul and I are “going green” for the holidays. We’re not into shopping that much. In fact, we don’t believe in consumerism. We’re going to make handmade gifts for most of the family. We’ll be traveling down to Cincinnati for Christmas. I am already trying to figure out how to be nice to my sister. Every time we get together, we start snipping at each other. She’s so jealous that Paul and I have each other and she doesn’t have anyone. I’m going to remember the meaning of Christmas this year.
Christmas is all about the Christ child. I wish people would remember that. Christmas is about Jesus. That baby in the manger. If people would just invite Jesus into their hearts, our world would be a better place. When people say “Happy Holidays” I just want to tell them–it’s about the Baby. It’s about asking Christ into your hearts and lives. It’s about something new being born in you. It’s about being saved by the innocence of that child. Christmas is Christ. We can’t forget that, ever.
We don’t celebrate Christmas. John is Buddhist, and, frankly, I’m agnostic. We know most of the U.S. is celebrating, though, so we often make a huge pot of stew or soup. Then we light candles and share what we’re thankful for. I am thankful that we live in a country where we can all believe what we want. Can you imagine living somewhere where people tell you what you must believe?
I used to light candles during this season. To remember. To give hope. But this year I’m in a nursing home. No candles this year. I still have hope, though. And I have gratitude for a long life. And that Marsha will come on Christmas with her kids. It will be a good Christmas.
I found out last month that I have cancer. Guess I just don’t feel like celebrating this year. Why me? Then again, why not me? It’s funny, you never think it’s going to happen to you. You always think it will be the next guy. But this time I got the lottery. Lucky me. But, you know, maybe I’ll go downtown and help them pass out food or somethin’. You know. Get my mind off things. Try to remember that there are others out there who are hurting, too.
Mama, when is Santa Claus coming? When? When? Is it Christmas yet?
The radio sings, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know–” but this year we’re going to Georgia and it will be a green Christmas, won’t it? What does Christmas mean to me, you ask? Christmas means opening my heart a little more, remembering that something is more important than our daily struggles. It’s about making an inner space, like a manger, where a baby can be born anew and awaken any dozing of the heart.
Christmas is about family. That’s it. It’s about all of us getting together and eating turkey and stuffing and ham and mashed potatoes and asparagus casserole and pumpkin pie and we’re all laughing and remembering the old times and watching the grandkids play. It’s about remembering what’s important. And for me, it’s family.
Christmas is about Rudolph and he leads that sleigh with his bright shiny red nose and we bake cookies and leave them on the kitchen table except last year Daddy ate one and then Santa only had two. This year Daddy can’t eat one!
Christmas means the guys and I will still be in Afghanistan and–if it’s anything like last year–we’ll sit around and remember our families and special memories of past holidays. We don’t get too serious, though. We can’t. We gotta keep up moral. You don’t want anyone to get too sad.
Bill here. What is Christmas, you ask? Christmas is when I don’t have to work for three whole days, thank God.
Jake, age 10. “I ain’t believin’ in Santa no more.”
Kaitlin, age 4. “I believes in Santa Claus with my wholest heart!”
Kathy, age 54: Merry Christmas to you all from Lake Superior Spirit!
If someone asked you to describe Christmas or the holiday season in a few sentences what would you say? What does it mean to you? (You can share your age if you like. Or not. )
It’s 5:55 Kathy…and I love you.
It’s 9:25 a.m. and I loves you too, Elisa. So does Santa Claus. He says so.
Christmas is about giving. Sometimes that means presents and sometimes its about doing something nice for someone else. The smallest acts of giving are usually the most meaningful, even its just telling the post office worker “thank you for all you do.” A little kindness goes a long way. 🙂
That is beautiful, C.B. I think giving and sharing makes the Christmas spirit alive and loving. Thank you for giving your words and kindness here.
Merry Christmas, Kathy, and thank you for sharing your blog with all of us!
Sean, Merry Christmas to you and thank you for sharing as well!
This was really, really good. Thank you for a wonderful, surprising Christmas present. Now I think your name must be Kathy Claus, and you have only been impersonating someone else until now.
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, Pamela! Mr. Claus and I think you’re very perceptive. He’s been so busy we won’t see him here at the North Pole until next Wednesday. (He sleeps for two days after his travels!!)
I find myself scrolling and looking for the part where you tell us where you got all these Christmas stories! Did you imagine them? Did you ask people? Did Santa Blog gift you? I love the photos you chose to illustrate your stories – nicely done.
Karen, age 42: Christmas is having the people I love all together under one roof, if only for a few hours, and watching the faces of my almost-grown-up daughters show the delight of a child on Christmas morning.
The Spirit of Christmas came upon her with Christmas stories…and she was sore afraid. But the Angel of Christmas said, “Fear not, I bring you many stories of many people. Please type them and if you make any mistakes, we shall tell you.” (And she was no longer sore afraid.) Karen, I am smiling thinking of the faces of your almost-grown-up-daughters. May you all have a wonderful Christmas morning!
Merry Christmas, Kathy! Age 54 here, too, To hold a Light in the darkness and to find the Light in every person, every spirit… As you say, to “Light a candle for the world…” I LOVE that picture! And to hold my family extra close. I also love “The march of the Santas and Snowmen in the snow,” and have to admit I feel a little envious of your snow cover.
Thank you for that beautiful sentiment: To hold a Light in the darkness and to find the Light in every person, every spirit.” My heart soars and wants to remember that forever. (You need not be envious of our snow cover. We’re in Georgia now visiting Barry’s parents. I am singing “I’m dreaming of a green Christmas” and hoping snow doesn’t interrupt our trip back home on Sunday.) Merry Christmas, light!
A treasure trove of diverse stories! Thank you for sharing them. Each one rings with the truth of each person’s experience.
I’m oldish now … almost 62 … yet Christmastime brings some kind of special magic each year, and I cannot recall a time when it hasn’t, no matter what was/is going on in my life. Wishing for you and the family Christmas magic that fits your truth. Love you!
Thank you for enjoying the treasure trove of diverse stories, Susan. As I listened inside and wrote down the many voices sharing their stories, I felt the diversity of the world in a new way. Loving that you’ve always heard the special magic of Christmas no matter what the outward experience is revealing. Our Christmas magic involves being with Barry’s parents and brother and nephew. It is good.
Though distance keeps my loved ones apart from each other, in my heart we are together as one. That is the magic of Christmas for me. Miles don’t matter, only love matters. Christmas is memories and new beginnings. It all started so simply and that is what I reach back for in this 72nd year. A blessed and healthy Christmas to you Kathy, and I am so glad you will be crossing those miles to take your love closer to family!
That is beautiful, Susan. “Miles don’t matter, only love matters.” I am wondering what new beginnings are starting in this season. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, as well. And we are only a state away from you! We are in Georgia now, with Barry’s family until Sunday.
So near yet so far! I thought I heard there were tornado warnings somewhere in Georgia. Hope they don’t find you! Lovely Christmas to you and Barry!
there WERE tornado warnings around thissaway last night. Crazy! Don’t know if you ever read this blog, our last trip to Georgia:
OK, never mind, I went back and read the comments and saw that you already read it!
Christmas is sharing…
…time with each other
…gifts of love
…gifts of things, maybe
Heather, I love what you shared. Merry Christmas!
Couldn’t sleep so reading your blog on this Winter Solstice. Seeing friends I’ve missed since my move to Texas, seeing my children again and looking forward to a new year and new beginnings for us all!
Hope you had a blessed Winter Solstice,Celeste. I am glad you are with friends and children–and that you are able to sleep well during the rest of the holiday nights!
Christmas is being grateful for both the memories of what has past as well as what we have and we share here and now. Finding joy in being humbled by life and finding that we’re still standing. It is celebrating the people who are going out and paying off layaways for those who need a helping hand instead of wallowing in venom coming out of Washington, be it to the left of the fence or the right of the fence. It is ache in my heart for our troops in harm’s way. It is the anticipated joy of seeing my first grandchild who is now old enough to rip open presents and have more fun playing in the boxes than with the contents.
It is being able to thank you for sharing part of your life with your tribe of faithful followers no matter when or what you choose to write. Merry Christmas Kathy!
Dear John, thank you for sharing your Christmas thoughts and feelings. “Finding joy in being humbled by life and finding that we’re still standing.” That sentence evokes great feelings of faith and gratitude. How wonderful to have a first grandchild at Christmastime. Have a wonderful holiday week!
Christmas used to be about all being together. Now it’s something we try to get through with grace, without making anyone, us or those who love us, sad. But it’s still mostly about family and taking time to be thankful for what we have.
Christmas has so many “up” sides and so many “down” sides at times, doesn’t it? Kind of like life…the word “grace” feels like a gift that blossoms like a Christmas cactus between life’s ocassional thorns. Blessings, Dawn.
Sybil, age 61 here.
Christmases expectations for me have changed through the years. Until my mom died in 2007 (I was 57), I spent every single Christmas with my parents (dad died in ’04). Christmas’s were warm and fuzzy, with my loving folks giving me too many gifts. But even then, there was always TOO much of a build up and ALWAYS a feeling of let down after.
There is just too much hype. Expectations are raised to super-human levels. Suicide and depression peak in the population at Christmas-time.
Haven’t put up a tree this year. I avoid the Christmas specials and movies. Christmas goals are simple, go for a walk on the beach (I live on the coast of Nova Scotia), go to the movies with my daughter and exchange small gifts with her.
Your post today is so thought provoking.
All the best,
Sybil, I am glad this was thought provoking. There is so much more to Christmas than the standard way we think of it. Christmas can be simple and enjoying without the hype. I like your plan of small gifts, going to the movies with your daughter, and walking on the beach. Beautiful! I am sure your mom is beaming in her heart.
I love these snippets of story. Each voice is so strong and distinct and manages to tell share so much in so few words. Really well done, Kathy! Merry Christmas, my friend!
Thanks, Kathy. It was fun to listen to the internal voices and capture their spirit. Hope you have a Merry Christmas. I waved when we flew over Kentucky. 🙂
oops–scratch the word “tell.”
Laurie Buchanan, age 54
To me the spirit of Christmas is a year-round celebration of compassion and peace; it’s living in a heart-based manner every single day of the year.
I like that very much. Every single day of the year!
What a beautiful (and sad) post.
Merry Christmas, from my heart to yours.
Oh, Michaela, how sweet. From my heart back to yours, too…
Christmas was much more warm and magical when I was young. I look for those old Christmas feelings each year … they have been hard to find again as an adult. Maybe it is because there is too much work and stress leading up to it … or … “family” is so much smaller and distant than it used to be .. or, maybe I just need to start looking at this time of year differently and develop some new “feelings” about it all.
Thanks for sharing Christmas thoughts ….
May the magic still living in Christmas find its way into your thoughts and feelings; perhaps not the same way you felt as a child, but in a new fresh living way. Christmas blessings, my Minnesota woods friend!
Another fabulous post. Merry Christmas, Kathy. 🙂
Ho ho ho, Robin! Merry Christmas to you, Robin, as the week stretches into the 44th day of Christmas. (or whatever…you know how it extends beyond the 12 days of Christmas in this country…)
Merry Christmas Kathy 🙂
My Mom used to love everything about Christmas…the lights, the music, the decorations, the generosity, the random acts of kindness, the Christmas movies and shows, but most of all she loved the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus. Every Christmas she would gather the grandkids around the nativity scene and tell the story to them as they moved the pieces around and into the manger. It was such a sweet tradition. A tradition that I would like to continue someday when I have grandkids. ♥
A continued holy-holiday season to you, Brenda! I can see you in my mind’s eye surrounded by grandchildren sharing the Christmas story to them. I can see them leaning close and hearing the story in their hearts…