Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Reflections

Christmas calls us back to the years gone by. We can feel the cold, smell the cinnamon, and hear the old favorite Christmas songs.

One of my favorite Christmas presents from childhood was an electric train. I remember asking Santa for the train, and he delivered. It had a horn, a light-up crossing sign and an automatic uncoupler feature. You could even make smoke come out of the smokestack. I still have that Lionel train, and it still works. Some of the pieces are missing, but I still enjoy setting it up. It seems like Christmas is the perfect time to pull it out. The sounds remind me of childhood.

I also remember getting Major Matt Mason, an action figure who came out before they knew what to call dolls for boys. He was the brave astronaut who ventured into the void of outer space, doing daring things that I can’t remember. This was just a year or two before Neil Armstrong and company actually landed on the moon.

In my neighborhood we had a tradition of lining the streets with luminarias, brown paper bags with a little sand in the bottom and a votive candle. All the neighbors would light the candles every night for a few nights before Christmas. The neighborhood glowed with ribbons of light winding through the hills and trees. Neighbors agreed to keep their lights off, allowing the bags to light the night. People came from all around to drive slowly, without headlights, experiencing the glow of neighbors celebrating together. We strolled the streets with friends and time stood still.
Jesus was touching my heart, and I didn’t even know it.