December 18

Twinkle, Twinkle…

The lights were hung on the bushes with care.

And then my daughter said they needed adjusting.

I wanted to be Martha from The Grinch who could string beauty in seconds instead of the laborious time it took to get them untangled in the garage. I’d like people to stop asking if I’m ready for Christmas and just say, “Merry Christmas.”

There is still a skinny $14.00 tree in the window, begging to be decorated. At this point, I think Christmas morning might be a lovely time to do it. I will drink my cup of Folgers coffee house with French vanilla creamer and unwrap the vintage bulbs I’ve found in the shops along Boerne’s main street.

Right now, it’s the lights I’m obsessed with. I can never get enough of the Christmas lights and I slow my driving as I pass St. Peter’s Catholic Church, lit up on the hill. It reminds me of the years I drove around and around the block in Mason to see the simple beauty of those bright white lights, highlighting every architectural detail of the Lutheran Church,  decorated with the biggest bulbs I’ve ever seen.

During a recent SCBWI meeting with my fabulous, fellow children’s writers, we were given a writing prompt about a time we experienced wonder. I was as surprised as a kid on Christmas morning when the Ghost of Christmas past and a memory of the spectacular twinkling lights in Virginia Beach now only made me smile.

Ghosts of Christmas regrets don’t shine very bright or serve a good purpose during a season of love and celebration.

When I think about my made-up 11th commandment, Thou shalt let thy little light shine, I’m challenged to be a beacon, but more often, I feel like the broken receptacle in my closet, casting only darkness.

I pause for a second to remember all the people in my life who really know how to shine. Some use their gifts of administration and organization, some are incredible encouragers or maybe they care and share abundantly with others. I wondered how I best shine.

Yesterday at 1910, we were called to remember who we represent as followers of Christ. As believers, our lives should reflect light in the darkness. We are to put the light of God with us, on a lampstand.

Knowing we each shine in a different way, I sat in my chair, wondering again, asking the Lord, How does my light shine?

In that holy, quiet moment of reflection, immediately, the leggy fringe lamp from The Christmas Story popped into my head.

Oh. Glory in the highest. Amen.