Santa at the Super 8
(Finding Joy Anyway…Anywhere)
For most of my life, my family has lived between Massachusetts and Tennessee, which meant that until recently, I spent many Christmas weeks in my hometown of Morristown Tennessee.
Most years we would stay with family but one year my grandmother was being moved to a nursing home, so we came home just to spend some time with her. It was not a happy time, but it was Christmas, so we wanted to be there.
Since we planned to spend the entire weekend with her and she no longer had her apartment (which served as our home base for my entire life), we knew we needed to get a hotel room nearby. This way we would have a place to rest, eat, and regroup.
At the time, my son was only eight and when he realized that we would be spending Christmas morning at a hotel, he asked: how will Santa find me?
I assured him that, no matter where we were, Santa would find him.
“But how?” my son asked. “We don’t event have a Christmas tree!”
“He’ll find us!” I said. And he soon fell asleep.
My husband and purchased a tiny, pre-lit Christmas tree, a few gifts and even a few snacks we could have on Christmas morning.
Luckily, my son is a very hard sleeper, so we were able to even do some light decorating as he slept!
The next morning, I was awakened by my son’s joyful screams: “He came!!! Mama! Santa came!!!” and immediately jumped out of bed to see what was “under” the tree.
“I knew Santa would find me! I have been so good all year.”
That Christmas morning taught me two things:
1. The importance of faith
Even though there was no EVIDENCE of Santa before my son went to sleep, once I assured my son that Santa would find us, my son went to sleep and slept soundly all night. Ans he awakened to what he believed would happen: Santa came!
The second lesson I learned is the importance of keeping our celebrations alive! Even in times of sadness like my grandmother going to a nursing home.
And finally, I learned that Joy is free. Even though that Christmas was our most lean, it was our most joyful. We were able to spend some time in the hotel that morning, and then spend the rest of the day with my grandmother in her new room at the nursing home. She passed A few years later so I felt good knowing that we were able to make one of her last Christmas is special.
So of course I challenge you today to think about a celebration or ceremony you enjoyed in the past that you stopped doing because of limited resources or even lack of energy. I encourage you to revisit that activity, how can you resurrect it?