Guest Post: Zen Hess
Christmas has become a time where children eagerly anticipate the day of gift giving. Maybe better, they eagerly anticipate gift receiving. It becomes quite ingrained in a young child’s memory that there is one day in the year where there will be a whole lot of presents and all they had to do was not burp or fart at the dinner table.
I recall hardly sleeping many Christmas Eve nights. It seemed like I could hardly keep my eyes closed. Unlike some, I believed in Santa for many of my childhood years. My memories are steeped with nights of worthless sleep as I peered out my western window, seeing a tower’s light flashing in the distance. Every year I convinced myself that that light was Santa’s sleigh coming to town. I just knew it was getting closer every minute. Then, sleep would wash over my youthful exuberance, like wave of unconsciousness from which I would wake to the noise of Christmas wreaths banging against my window – certain that it was Santa upon my roof. I would tip-toe to my sister’s room. “Did you hear that?” I would ask. “He’s here! He’s on the roof!” Together, arm in arm, as quietly as we could, we would creep down the steps and peek around the corner of our stairwell wall. There would be crumbs from the cookies we had left, or perhaps a half chewed carrot from the year we tried to help Santa become healthier, and presents were scattered about the family room.
As I grew up, I became aware of the falsity of the American Christmas story; though my ma still puts “From: Santa” on some of the presents that she wraps for us. Maybe it’s her way of telling us not to give up on something so magnificent as a man who would share so abundantly to all the world.
In reading this week’s Scriptures, I found it hard not to feel the milieu of expectation, perhaps excitement at the coming of the Lord, such as that I had for the coming of Santa. Appropriate for the first readings in the church’s season of Advent. Continue reading