Seeing as how my soapbox has asked for a day off to go to the chiropractor I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about something a little different today. As you know by now, I like to take a lope down memory trail from time to time. Given that it’s the holiday time of year, I guess this is as good a time as any to go for a trail ride.
I know we all have memories from Christmas (or Hanukah) as kids. There’s a line that I really like from the Tim Allen film “The Santa Claus(e)” that goes “Seeing isn’t believing…Believing is seeing”. As kids, we understand that but, for some reason, as we grow older we lean more and more towards the ‘seeing is believing’. To me, therein lies the problem. We go for the things that we can see at Christmas – whether it’s the Christmas bonus at work, or the newest computer, or the latest fashion craze – and the old ‘out of sight out of mind’ takes over.
What do you mean “I’m not seeing it”? That’s my point exactly. You’d think with all the new styles of glasses, lasik surgery and contact lenses they’d come up with something that’d help us see a soul as well as the stitching on that new saddle you had under the tree last Christmas. Come on. We can hear that text come in we’ve been waiting for but not that bell being rang by the kettle worker outside Wal-Mart?
Hmm? Memory trail? I’m gettin’ to that. I remember one Christmas I wanted this Ballerina doll so bad that I bet I bugged my Mamaw and Papaw for it starting around Labor Day. Oh, how I loved that doll. She wore a pink tutu and had a pretty pink crown on her head with a knob that you could use to make her spin and dance.
Of all the Christmas trees over the years, I remember the tree from that year the most. We always had a real tree, fit with those multi-colored old C7 bulbs, bright red and green breakable ornaments, garland and, of course, tinsel. I still recall staring longingly at it on my way to bed that Christmas Eve night. Passing it in my mind’s eye even now I can still see it standing there, its reflection dancing off of the shiny hard wood floor in the den, and I can even still feel its warmth.
That next morning I bet it didn’t take me four leaps to get from my bedroom to that tree… and there she was all ‘pretty in pink’. I could barely speak (of course my Mamaw’s version has me shrieking at the top of my lungs) when I saw her. But looking back now, that doll represents something else much more precious to me. It reminds me that she (like all my other presents then and over the years) were the product of love and sacrifice by my grandparents. I wish I could have seen that clearer then.
We should all take a moment every now and then even after Christmas is over to remember those times as kids when we waited for Santa Claus, when we dreamed of dancing snowmen and flying reindeer. That’s because during that part of our lives we simply believed, believed with no pre-conceived notions and with no prejudice, in something much greater than ourselves.
I’m not talking about believing in the presents, I’m talking about believing in the love and the spirit behind them. I'm talking about not turning a blind eye to those who may not have it so good as you do. And of course don't forget to remember your grandparents or that special aunt and uncle that even though they're older now never seem to forget you. I can assure you, I’d give back every Christmas present I got as a kid to see my Mamaw and my Papaw around my tree now.
Folks, believing really IS seeing. This Christmas, how about looking with your heart rather than your eyes? I bet you’ll be surprised at just how clear that panavision will be.