Monday, December 24, 2007

The Tree Which Makes Our Christmas

I love Christmas. I have always loved Christmas.
A long, long time ago, my father made Christmas magic for me.
It was as we left the house, in the dark, to go to Mass.
Suddenly, he looked skyward and asked me if I had seen Santa.
As he did, I heard the sleigh bells, I know I heard them. They were clear and loud and, well, jingly.
Of course, I didn't see the sleigh. But I heard the bells. That much was certain.
It was years later, when I lifted a bunch of keys off my desk, one day, that I realised how my father had made the sound of the bells.
He had rattled his keys. And he had made Christmas magic for me.
Of course, Santa had already been and gone by the time we were heading out to Mass, so I couldn't possibly have heard the real bells.

Now that we have little Charlotte in our lives, Christmas is more magical then ever.
She may not quite understand, at 20 months, what's going on. But we do.
And tomorrow morning, we know we will watch her little face light up as she unwraps the presents from Santa and from friends and family.
We have two Christmas trees, one in the living room and one in the kitchen.
And it is the one in the kitchen that makes this Christmas magic.
Because Connie has decorated it with the little shoes Charlotte wore in the first year of her life.
They remind us how lucky we are to have her, what a miracle life is, and what a wonderful gift from God our little girl is.
Tomorrow, we will go to Mass in Mount Argus where, like last year, I hope to fulfill my ambition of standing on the altar with all the other mammys and daddys with their children while we sing the Our Father.
It's emotional, and the likelihood is, a tear may run down my cheeck.
It's a truly moving experience.
And one that reminds us what Christmas is really about.
Happy Christmas.

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