Sunday, December 15, 2013

a twinkling

The light displays on homes shout
Inflated snowmen, reindeer and igloos try their best to scream Christmas.
This year especially,
I want only unassuming Christmas décor.
After an emotional year of my husband's serious surgery,
losing my dad,
and the decline of Bill's mom,
I feel fragile in a way, 
as if tossed by life's storms.
Somehow I am most attracted to the simplest of light displays.
I wonder about the hearts inside those houses.
Have they, too, struggled this year?
Suffered a loss?
Was a strand or two of lights all they could manage?
Are they plain tired of the frantic pace of life?
I prefer a single, white candle burning in each window,
our tradition for 35 years.
A simple string of white lights around a door.
Across the street our neighbors hang two wreaths on either side of the garage door,
tiny white lights encircling each.
After the Exlines have gone to bed, the wreaths twinkle through the cold night,
the gentlest of reminders:
Christ is coming.
My heart needs little in the way of a clanging celebration this Christmas .
Instead, it will rest in the simplest reminders
that Christ came gently,
not as an eight-foot snowman
but as a baby.
In our year of baby boys,
we rejoice in the hope born in new life.
Christmas isn't defined by miles of lights.
But rather a candle's flicker, a tiny twinkling,
reminds me of the Christ child
sent by God
to deliver
his quiet
and unrelenting love.