I wrote this piece for our church newsletter this week. And I kinda like it, so I thought I would share it beyond the church community.
On the Christmas Eves of my childhood, just as I nestled into the warmth of my bed to force myself to sleep, I would hear jingle bells. They were out on the lawn ringing away. And I knew whose bells they were. I didn’t need to look out the window. I knew. I would squeeze my eyes even tighter hoping that Santa would not know that I was still awake.
It was the same every year. I would always hear the bells, until my mother grew ill. I didn’t know then that she was the one standing on the lawn ringing jingle bells so that my brother and I might believe. I can’t imagine my mother standing in the cold with those bells, but I believe.
I believe in the love that inspired my mother to ring those bells. I believe in the generosity of spirit that inspires the work that we do through so many of the ministries of this church. And I’ll admit it. I still want to squeeze my eyes tightly shut while dreaming of endless possibility. I still want to hear those bells jingling on the lawn. It won’t be my mother that rings them anymore. But, she taught me to believe. And I do. I believe in Santa Claus.
Standing on the lawn ringing those jingle bells, my mother invited me to believe in something greater than myself. And no matter how old I get or how much I come to understand about the world, I cannot give up on the magic of this figure.
Do you remember the magic of Christmas of child? Have you seen that magic sparkle in the eyes of your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or extended family? Have you heard those bells jingling to remind you to believe? I pray that we all experience the magic of Christmas that invites us to believe in a possibility beyond our imaginations.