Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas, PeaceBangers

When my siblings and I were just little squirts, Santa would occasionally leave us letters in our stockings, written in an ornate, curlicued hand in red ink, and tied into a scroll with a ribbon. I wish so much I had kept each and every one of them, for they were full of Santa's magic and his loving joviality. He always seemed to know about some special struggle we had suffered and overcome during the year. We marvelled at how well he understood us, and took his affectionate blessings to heart.

In 1996, I was in my seminary internship and had Christmas Eve duties at church that prevented me from going home to Mom's for Christmas. By now, Christmas alone has become a regular thing, not nearly as painful and often quite enjoyable. But in that first year, I knew I would be in an awful way if I did not try to do something radically different; something that let my heart and my head know that the old traditions were over, I had a new role to play in the world, and I was giving my Christmases to the Lord, not to Lord & Taylor.
So I went on a silent retreat at a Cistercian Abbey in western Massachusetts.

Before I left, I got a package from home. In it, Mom included a letter from Santa that she said he had sent along early. It was rolled into a scroll and tied with a red ribbon. When I saw the curlicue writing, my eyes filled with tears. It said:

My Dear [PeaceBang],

It is becoming far too difficult to fill your Christmas Stocking, for you already are Blessed with your own rare natural gifts: intelligence, charm, wit, fortitude, determination, talent, loyalty, to name a very few.

Your spirit shines as bright as the Christmas Star, reaching out to those near and dear to you, and soon its rays will warm and nourish and heal many, many more of those who will need your strength and wisdom. I can only fill Stockings, so I need you to fill Hearts.

That is why I implore you to stay healthy, listen to your body and respect its demands.

You continue to be a fine young woman I continue to praise to the Mrs. and my Staff. We have watched you graduate from little [P.B.] to the proud [PeaceBang] that you wear so well.

May God, the Goddesses, the Earth's winds, the Loving Spirits of the Waters, Earth, Sky and Beyond, ever protect and cradle you from all Harm.

I am sending you my love,
Santa Claus

This Christmas I wish you all the gift of love: love that pays attention, love that encourages, love that goads, love that understands, love that cradles, love that blesses you with all the strength you need to meet all the challenges of this life.

"Love one another as I have loved you."

Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth.

madonnaandchildbl papaandchild


Blogger Chalicechick said...

You should print up. "I'm a Peacebanger" t-shirts. I'd wear one.


Blogger PeaceBang said...

Merry Christmas, Chick. I'm a Chalice Chicker.
I hope it's a good one for you, even if tradition is that Xmas "mightily sucketh."

Blogger Jess said...

No fair making me all teary when I still have so much to do! What a wonderful tradition, and wonderful words. I especially love the picture of father and baby - my baby just turned five, and Christmas is more chaos this year than ever before. Thanks for the reminder to breathe and remember the important things.

And Merry Christmas!

Blogger fausto said...

That Santa sure knows whereof he speaks.

Maybe I will forgive him for punching Arius in the nose after all.

Merry Christmas, all.

Blogger Alison said...

Merry Christmas, from a longtime lurker on your blog. This was an especially lovely post, and I want to thank you for all your blogging throughout the year.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Thank you, Alison and Fausto. Sleep in heavenly peace, everyone. xoxo PB


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