I wore a green cotton dress with lace ruffles on the front bodice, black patent leather Mary Jane shoes and ankle socks with white lace ruffles. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I stood in line patiently (I thought so) for two hours. We slowly progressed through the line that surrounded the most giant and elegant Christmas tree my 6-year-old self had ever witnessed. It was glorious. It was Christmas anticipation. It was majesty. The room around the tree was an octagonal shape and on every wall there was a large mirror, which made the tree, lights and ornaments even bigger than they ever could be in real life. Finally, a teenager dressed like an elf opened one of the mirrored doors and invited my little brother and me to enter.
There on a golden throne sat Santa Claus, dressed in all his regal red velvet with white fur. He was surrounded by presents, greenery, baubles, glitter, and he had the most sincere, loving face I think I had ever seen on a man, except for my grandfather. I was in awe. Before me sat (I was sure), the man himself, who flies in a sleigh around the world and shares love and gifts with all children whose hearts are golden. What a guy!
I wasn’t afraid. My brother wasn’t afraid. We were placed on his lap. Pictures were taken, and we had the opportunity to talk with him about what our hearts desired. I, like most girls my age, wanted a pony for Christmas. I figured it wouldn’t happen, because I had no idea where we would put it. We had a tiny suburban house and there was barely enough room outside for a garden and the kids.
I was immersed in magic and promise at that moment. It was so strong, I remember it still as though it were seconds ago. And to this day, I appreciate that the concept, story and myth of Santa Clause, became very real for me. That Christmas morning, he did not fail me. I got my pony. Mind you, it wasn’t a live pony, but a beautiful statue doll that I cherished throughout my young years.
I still believe. I believe in a sense of love, sharing and giving that is so much greater than me and everyone else, that it can boggle the mind. That belief helped to open my awareness and ability to accept that there is a God, or the existence of a loving spirit that can bring me so much love, even when I don’t think I see it or feel it. I just have to remember that every day, there is love all around me. I just have to be open to receiving it, and willing to share it with others, including myself. And that’s what I love most about this season. Wishing you LOVE for the holidays, whichever one you celebrate!