Story 5: What I really really really want for Christmas

I do know what I want someone to give me for Christmas. I’ve known since I was forty years old. Wind-up mechanical toys that make noises and go round and round and do funny things. No batteries. Toys that need me to help them out from time to time. The old-fashioned painted tin ones I had as a child. That’s what I want, I tell you.

Well, okay, that’s close, but not quite exactly it. It’s delight and simplicity that’s I want. Foolishness and fantasy and noise.  Angels and miracles and wonder and innocence and magic. That’s closer to what I want.

It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really, want for Christmas is just this:

I want to be five years old again for an hour.

I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot

I want to be picked up and rocked to sleep in someone’s arms, and carried up to bed just one more time.

I know what I really want for Christmas.

I want my childhood back.

Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but when does Christmas make any sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me.  Waiting behind the door of our hearts for something wonderful to happen.  A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded, and terribly vulnerable to joy. A child who does not need or want or understand gifts of socks or potholders.

Robert Fulghum

All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten

Christmas Story #4: Help I need Christmas spirit

December 2002

I entered the Christmas season exhausted before it began. I was overdone and feeling guilty that I was not in the mood for creating an atmosphere of Christmas for my children. I decided one night (mostly for my sake) to read a short Christmas story to my little boys before bedtime. I was tired and secretly wanted to hurry through it.

I chose a story and tried to skip a few pages to get to the end. When I finished my oldest took the book and said, “There’s songs in this book… Let’s sing one.” And with a pure child’s singing voice began to sing Jingle Bells. As he sang the others joined in. Everyone was giggling and I had to enter in too. He then sang another song that he didn’t remember the tune for very well and we all tried to sing the chorus. This happened for much longer than I expected.

As I kissed and turned out the light my heart felt warmer and less encumbered.

I believe I received some Christmas magic that night…

Story #3: Angel in Disguise

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One evening in downtown Los Angeles, while waiting for a light, a stranger came up to the passenger side door of our car and began knocking on the windows. My four and two year olds were in the back seat looking out. They instantly caught my anxiety and began to point and cry.  His hands were dirty, his clothes were worn and sagging. He was looking inside the window and I was terrified. The light changed and I quickly sped away  with my heart pounding.

But not a mamma in Louisiana! When homeless or needy people approach their car instead of building a family fortress of fear and judgement she tells her children to quickly roll down the window! She carries extra dollars or water in her car for this very reason. “This person could be an ‘angel in disguise’,” she teaches them. And they don’t ignore them, fearful but plan ahead for when they meet them, so they can give a little bit.

I love that mamma and her loving heart.

Who is the angel here?

Story #1: Inspired by 100 bears!

The room was stuffed full of happy energy by over 100 overly excited bears! (no pun intended) They were stitched and stuffed ready and waiting to begin their new life with not just children, but anyone who needs a personal bear buddy. The seamstress has made more than 800 bears over the past eight years.

But the piece of the story that makes it holy is when asked how much she sells them for on Etsy or in boutiques she says,

                                 “Oh they are way too expensive for anyone to purchase.”

Why? 

The reason is stated VERY resolute.

Every single bear is stitched with the maker’s love. And, she says, “my love is priceless and not for sale.”

Giving them away is only a piece of the gift. She enlists “stuffers,” from her church; mostly children to come help give them life. Then for their service they get to pick one to take home.

The maker says: “There is no mouth but ears because they are perfect listeners. The arms are outstretched ready to give us unlimited hugs for anything life brings. Their furry soft bodies can be loved on in as many ways as there are the people who have them.”

This years 100 will soon be off to the Gold Star Mothers group in up-state New York who provide Christmas for veterans and their families. Her bears have brightened hospitals, the elderly, cancer patients, autistic children, hurricane/tornado victims, and people who need a special cuddle buddy. The maker told me she has just given one to a lonely elderly woman in a retirement facility who now sleeps with her bear buddy every single night. The elderly woman now has friends coveting her bear boy friend and they want one too.

I am privileged to have been given one of those bears…a true gift of love.

What can I give to Christmas? 

Here is the idea my bear buddy whispered in my ear…

Once upon a Christmas season a knock taps on your door.

A strange woman with a twinkle in her eye, wearing pajamas and red slippers holds a heavy suitcase.

Will she be staying long?

What is inside?

 If you choose to let her in

you may discover the fairy gold

she carries in her case.

But it is you who has to open it up

and discover what magic it can bring.

Once again I am a traveling Christmas story teller and would love to come share some fairy gold with you or your friends. Remember stories are for kids from 1-102. If you think you are too busy or too dignified, you are missing out on one of life’s best treasures!

It won’t cost you a cent except time.

It is my gift to Christmas to help spread the magic.

 Happy Christmas Dears.

This my first story to share with you…

Jennifer Edwards

If you are a dreamer come in.
If you are a dreamer,
a wisher,
a liar,
a hoper,
a prayer,
a magic-bean buyer.
If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire.
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in…
Shel Silverstein

What will you give to Christmas?

 It’s not just for getting…

The gift of an ordinary day

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I learned a valuable secret when I was diagnosed with cancer. When stresses of life are too much for me to handle I find peace in the ordinary. Warm sudsy water, the rhythm of a dryer, smoothing wrinkles on a freshly made bed, washing lettuce leaves for a warm supper… I discovered the daily rituals of life center us, calm us, and give us a new awareness and appreciation for an ordinary day.

Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.

Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.

Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.

One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,

or bury my face in the pillow,

or stretch myself taut,

or raise my hands to the sky and want,

more than all the world,

your return.

Mary Jean Iron