Water’s Falling From the Sky

Water’s Falling from the Sky

(Thoughts as Another Holiday Season Begins)


Water’s falling from the sky; the tree is up, and there’s a roaring fire in the fireplace . . .

Yesterday, just after my husband got the tree upright, I heard him put on Christmas music and start hanging ornaments. All on his own. In previous years (all of them!), there’s been a tug-of-war about our tree-decorating schedule. Hubby’s preference would be to do it in stages: One day, get the tree. Next day, get the lights going. Next day, maybe throw on some ornaments . . . You see what I’m getting at.

Momma no likey. Momma likes to slam-dunk the tree. In one flurry of action. So this year, as I was finishing up folding some laundry and waiting for him to get the tree situated so we could jam and slam, I heard Bing Crosby. I looked out at the living room through the bedroom doorway, and there my husband was—decorating, concentrating—with a sweet look on his face.

I joined him, and we began hanging ornaments together. The porcelain ones commemorating our son’s and daughter’s births, as well as the ones the kids made when they were teeny, fashioned with construction paper and drippy Elmer’s glue, featuring their little preschool faces. Plus there were all the other delicate trinkets and treasures collected over the years. I thought of shattered ornaments along the way, because that’s how life is. One year, the entire tree fell over.

And yet, here we are. And water’s falling from the sky; the tree is up, and there’s a roaring fire in the fireplace. Which means I’m feeling sentimental; deeply grateful at all the things that are still shining and upright after so many years—all the delicate, fragile valuables that remain unbroken. But I am aware that’s not the case for everyone, as I too have known firsthand. For some, the holidays are a threadbare, lonely stocking hanging from the mantle, maybe a little singed from the fire.

While I am so very grateful, I also want to remember those who are feeling alone—or are alone—during the next month. Including those who have had great loss this year and will face the holidays without that sweet person. And those in physical or mental pain. And those who can’t afford to buy their kids a gift this year. And those dreading the days between now and when the glittery ball descends in Times Square. And those without someone to smooch that night, or under the mistletoe in these next few weeks. And those who, because of the holidays, will have rain falling from their eyes.

Let me be sensitive in my celebration. Let me include those who might be dreading this season, and be kind to those who don’t expect to enjoy it but who are struggling to simply endure it. In my words, in my prayers, at my table and around my tree, may I invite them to be warmed by my fire, precious and new members of my family.