through the stores, no one was more frustrated
than the one not wishing to shop at all.
Not that I didn't want to.
Not that I didn't have occasions to.
No, my frustration was with the whole idea of coming up with a gift to dazzle all other gifts.
Not one thing seemed to fill the bill.
What to do? How to deal with
a desire that can never be fulfilled.
How to play Santa when I know that my people's dreams include
a world cruise
and a car that drives itself
while a clean-sparkling house and a massage are more what they deserve?
I'm just a child
right now, going between wanting something so badly that only Santa could deliver
and having to be the very Santa who's too old and too practical to keep wishing real.
No, not the books at Barnes and Nobles.
Or the warm pajamas at Macy's.
Or anything and another presented at the Malls of America
Or at the local drugstores.
What I need is an evening back in the old country, a roaring fire in the chimney, snow on the roof top, and the family at the table making the traditional sweet ravioli that would be filled with mashed chestnuts and shaved chocolate, then fried, in a big cauldron, through the night, as we all, young and old, waited for the midnight mass. I would be carried as a sleepy angel baby through muddy and dark streets until we reached the Church.
Then, magically, I'd play my part with other children at the living nativity scene through the Mass and afterwords, through carol singing. After which, back in Father's arms and back home to eat a fried pastry now cool enough to enjoy.
I do hope somewhere in the world these scenes are still played.
I do hope that children everywhere feel the magic of this night in the way they are loved, in the way they are part of the bigger world that treasures them, and keeps peace on earth for all mankind.
May your wishes be of warmth and peace and family.