The scents and sounds of this time of year can carry us to days gone by in what sometimes seems like nano-seconds! Peppermint, pine, gingerbread, and hot chocolate all have a link to the past for me. Sleigh bells, carols, and children laughing can take me from doom and gloom to utter joy in lightning speed.
I remember as a child hearing the sleigh bells on the rag man's horse. I think I am one of the last "city kids" who remember such things. Another memory of that time is the smell of pine or evergreen that filled the air at the spot where Mr. Morgan sold Christmas trees down on Broadway. Momma would take us to get the tree and then we would make cookies and have hot chocolate before bed. It was always so hard to sleep!
It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized how difficult Christmas was for my Mom. We had so little, yet, she created such a magic time for my brothers and I. One Christmas stands out above the rest. First, I was chosen to sing at the Midnight Mass. I was only seven, so this was a great honor!
Then, Momma made an old fashioned Christmas for us, complete with paper chains on the tree, candle light, gingerbread men and popcorn strands. She told us we were making believe we lived long ago before electricity and central heating. I loved the idea and never thought twice about it. For me, this was the most magnificent magic. I couldn't understand why Sister Delores got all teary -eyed when I told her about our wonderful Christmas adventure.
On Christmas morning, my brothers and I found several hand made gifts under our little tree. They had cowboy vests and pants and I had a little rag doll with a bed and clothes. Her name was Lindy Lou.
Years later, when I first wrote about this special Christmas, Momma, with tears in her eyes told me why we had celebrated "the old fashioned" way. We didn't have electricity, or coal and their was barely enough money for food, let alone gifts. She had sat up in the cold and dark sewing the presents from her own clothes and scraps of cloth. She could not believe that, of all the Christmases I remembered, that was the one I liked the best. It had been one of the darkest moments in her life.
Reading about the joy that time brought me, however, gave her a different view of that Christmas. Seeing it through my eyes, it was no longer dark, instead, it was filled with the light of a child who believed in magic.
Magic moments, blessings happen all the time. All we have to do is be open to them. Most often they occur when we need them most, yet, it isn't until much later that we realize the magic/blessing that helped us through a difficult time.
May your heart and mind open to those magic moments that have blessed your life, bringing you to the Loving Light of this season. May we all be blessed with Peace, Love and Joy as we travel on our path together.