By Rick Hinton
As a child living in the inner city neighborhood of Twin Aire, the mystery that was Christmas was month long in December, culminating in going to bed on Christmas Eve as the clock drew closer to midnight. I slept fitfully for a few hours, always awakening in the wee hours of the morning. Kerry, my younger brother, slept while I prowled through the house, arriving at the lit Christmas tree towering over a dramatic outlay of presents under its branches. I was looking for Santa, but had missed him—again! I continued this Christmas morning prowl after our move to the far eastside on South Post Road. And sometimes, now as an adult, I continue to prowl. Do you ever really want to give that up?
I always carried the notion of Santa as a supernatural event. Our childhood engulfed us with his annual visit, resulting in presents under the tree. Christmas morning dawned with innocent wonder that something beyond the ordinary had happened while we slept. Magic! The few times I spent the night with my grandparents on Christmas Eve, they always made a ceremony of putting out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. The next morning there were only crumbs on the plate (a few left on the table for effect) and a half finished glass of milk!
These days, for me, there are twinkling lights, lawn decorations, music (Rockin Around the Christmas Tree—my favorite since childhood), food, family and friends as I continue my short jaunt through life. There’s also a feeling in the air that maybe—just maybe—we can put away meanness and violence, at least for a short time, and revel in those still with us this season; and reflect on those now departed. My mother always had a youthful glee while opening her presents. It didn’t matter what the present was, only that you had thought of her. Presents were few and far between during her childhood. It doesn’t take much for an adult, for a short amount of time, to become a child again!
New traditions have been created along with the Christmas standards. Each year I dig out Elvis. Dressed in black leather, his hips pivot to and fro as his Christmas stocking sways as he sings. What screams Christmas more than this? The cats love him!
Most important in our household is a shift in priorities. As with the supernatural aspects of the Santa Claus of our youth, there is an equally supernatural aspect of validation that there is a God, and that Jesus dwelt among us for a short time. This is the season we recognize the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. If His birth and relatively short walk upon this earth, along with His death and resurrection, is not supernatural in nature then I don’t know what is! His infinite love, patience and blessings, consistently changing and transforming our lives, are nothing short of supernatural…or paranormal for that matter.
It’s a big, mysterious world out there and we must never turn our mind off to the possibilities. I believe…do you?
Merry Christmas to one and all!
My website is rdhinton.com