The Creature That Stirred

Deborah Venable



It is often said that the Christmas Season is among the most perilous times for those challenged souls facing any kind of adversity.  Suicide rates supposedly go up and fragile psyches are stretched to their limits as they succumb to the “poor me” syndrome. 


Obviously these people are not celebrating Christmas as it is supposed to be celebrated.


The whole idea of Christmas is to bring us to our knees in gratitude and the realization that we may experience peace on earth any time we choose.  Peace, after all, is an individual undertaking.  We cannot bring peace to anyone but ourselves, but if we are successful at that, then we have truly accepted God’s greatest gift.


I unwrapped that gift and bathed myself in it this Christmas.  For the first time since I’ve had children, I spent Christmas without any of them in my immediate presence, but I had all of them around me anyway.  Of course, with the modern convenience of the telephone, I could hear their voices any time I wanted, but that is not what I mean. 


My children and their good friends celebrated together and had a great time.  I celebrated with two of my very best friends, and we all enjoyed Christmas at home, even though we were many miles apart.


Coming home for Christmas does not necessarily mean that we must travel to that place we call home – it just means that we arrive at that destination in our hearts. 


Certain Christmas traditions are set and passed down in families, and on some Christmases we find ourselves in situations that do not allow such traditions be followed.  While these traditions are very important, they need not make or break every Christmas celebration.  All too often, though, people will allow such incidences to prevent their peace on earth. 


Finding joy in the simplest things is what truly counts.  My favorite example of that for this Christmas occurred as my children sat around their little Christmas tree that they had decorated with homemade ornaments.  It was a cold evening a couple of days before Christmas.  The tree was placed in the addition the kids recently built onto the house where there is presently no heat because it is as yet unfinished, but it is the room they prefer to gather in anyway.  The lights were off except for the twinkling ones adorning the tree.  To the children’s delight, a mouse appeared in the tree, hanging upside down on a light cord, cheerfully nibbling at a popcorn strand.  I wasn’t there, but my daughter’s description of it was hilarious!


The creature that dared stir will be a story they can tell for many Christmases to come.  


I hope everyone made some good memories this Christmas - memories that will sustain you in the darkest of days and bring joy in the most unlikely of times.  That is what we are supposed to do.  That is the only kind of peace we can guarantee ourselves, and it is the only lasting peace we can hope for on this earth.



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