I wish it would snow. A white Christmas, just once. A winter wonderland. Perfect for dashing through. For throwing. For sliding on. For catching, one flake at a time, on our tongues.
Yes, I know we aren't likely to get snow at Christmas.
I realize that the weatherman and history and the odds conspire against us. Christmas miracles do happen, though, so just maybe, if we really, truly believe ...
Isn't faith what it's all about, anyway? We first encounter Christmas when we are too young to understand it, so we have to take it on faith.
Our early memories might be of screaming as we are held on the lap of a large man in red clothes and white beard. Who is this guy, and what's his game?
Perhaps we remember being bundled up and taken to church, where we hear those carols and Luke 2. The greatest story ever told. Gold, myrrh and frankincense. That four-pointed star looks like a cross, doesn't it?
As crawling toddlers, we reach up for shiny ornaments on the low branches of our tree. Tiny fingers find tinsel. Glowing lights hypnotize us. We stare at that angel or star on top.
We walk onstage in church plays as shepherds. Parents in the audience. Cameras flashing. Next year, maybe a starring role.
Vacation from school: too short. Held prisoner by the cold. Snooping under the tree. Shaking boxes. Rummaging through the closets, just in case.
Watching and listening to holiday favorites. The Grinch. Frosty. Zuzu's petals. Bah, humbug! Yes, Virginia. Rudolph. Snoopy. The little drummer boy. Miracles, in the manger and on 34th Street. A partridge in a pear tree. Jingle bells. Visions of sugar plums. Look, Daddy; teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings!
'Tis the night before Christmas. The longest night of the year for kids. I'm not sleepy. Wake me up early.
On Christmas morn, a toy store under the tree. Games. Books. Cars for me. Dolls for others. All this stuff -- free? We should do this every year. What's the catch?
Wads of wrapping paper on the floor. New clothes neglected, still neat from the box. Toys in hand.
Can I go out to play? I'll eat later. I don't need my coat.
After playing, a feast. Ham or turkey or roast. Cakes. Something called fruitcake. Pies. Fruitcake. Candy canes. Fruitcake. Hot chocolate. Fruitcake.
Santa? I'm too old for that old guy. I know what I want. Just give me the money.
Sorry, I can't come home this Christmas. I have plans with my friends. Tell everyone I said hello. Thanks for the sweater.
Married now. Kids of our own. It all starts anew. Watching them in pageants and parades. Holding them up high to see the floats. Making wings for little angels. At least you're not a shepherd.
Driving by Nativity scenes. Touring the neighborhood to look at lights. Finding the right tree. Decorating the house. Wreaths, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. A study in red and green.
Shopping. Wrapping. Buying Christmas stamps. Sending cards. Getting cards. Office parties.
Have some eggnog.
'Tis the night before Christmas. The shortest night of the year for parents. Let's open our presents tonight! No, wait until morning. Just one present tonight! OK, just one, but that's all; Santa will bring the rest.
Stuffing their stockings. Putting bikes together in the wee hours. Parts left over. Skinned knuckles. Falling into bed just as day breaks.
But look at their faces. Giving really is better than receiving. The 12 days of Christmas, all gone for another year. Silent night.
Silent, snowy night, I hope.
Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.