It's grainy, it's gritty, but it's proof positive that when Santa isn't traveling reindeer-style, he takes the train. Here it is a little over a week away from Christmas and the big guy is as relaxed as an elf after seconds on Mrs. Claus' secret recipe eggnog. (How do you think Blitzen got his name, anyway?)
If old Kris Kringle is this chill with so much left to do during the holiday season, why am I feeling like a Christmas light strand that buzzes when you plug it in? In this age of Amazon prime shipping and iTunes gift cards, I'm still down to the wire and starting to Bah a few too many Humbugs.
It happens every year.
What is it about the holidays that makes so many of us feel this way? We complain about all the carols playing in the stores, and yet we cry when we hear Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." December isn't really red and green for us. It's got far too many blues. We miss the ones who are no longer here to celebrate with us, but it's more than that. We chase the Christmas dragon, trying hard to recapture those twinkly, star-topped memories of our childhood. We notice that our children are growing up too fast, and it makes us want to make sure we create some twinkly, star-topped memories for them, too.
I have to admit, though ... spotting St. Nick at the Farmers Market last night was a hang-a-shining-star-upon-the-highest-bough moment. A Clarence-finally-got-his-wings moment. For a few seconds, the world glimmered with magic and hope and generosity. It gleamed with all the silly, wonderful customs we drag out every year along with Aunt Ruby's porcelain ornaments. For a few seconds, it wasn't just Little Bit jumping up and down yelling "Santa! Santa!"
I was right there, with her.