On a cold winter evening nearly three decades ago, I proposed to my wife, Melanie. It was December 21st, the night of winter solstice, and I thought the idea of natural rhythms and things you could count on provided a good embrace. I pulled over in front of a small, old church in the middle of nowhere. To my delight, the stars shone full and bright, and the quiet was deafening. No lights except moonbeams, and not a sound save the occasional crunch of snow beneath my feet.
It seemed the perfect start to the Christmas season. The spirit of the moment remains, and the gifts of love, life, and laughter have been abundant each year since. Two beautiful boys came from that promise.
The spirit remains…
When I was five years old, a boy with a blue blanket spoke about the meaning of Christmas on center stage in an empty auditorium. I was so young at the time, and it was a TV Christmas special*, but I remember the stillness of the moment, the curiosity I felt, and how I wanted to know more. The mystery of the miraculous was not lost on that little boy in front of the TV. And in the years that followed, the boy with the blue blanket remained a wise voice in the center of a season that changed, on the surface, beyond words.
The final line of Linus’ monologue stays with me today, and centers me on what matters most. The spirit of the season is not lost in the middle of nowhere with the stars shining bright. The star guides. With the certainty of the spirit, you can let your blue blanket fall at your feet and say “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
*A Charlie Brown Christmas