Skip to main content

The Hanging Santa

 


  Christmas tradition is important in our household and each year we attempt to drive around town to see the holiday lights.  I often fail at doing this in a timely manner and on New Year's Eve, the last night of the local park's "Tour of Lights", my children and I are known to fly into the park, right at closing time, in one final attempt to capture a look at the elaborate light displays. As we are driving past, in a last minute holiday panic, the lights are going out and stakes are being pulled up as it is long past time to go home.  I feel successful if I can stay just two or three lights ahead of the crew breaking down the holiday display.  In my rush, I always forget about the volunteer at the end of the tunnel of lights who is waiting with a festive bucket, in hand, to collect donations to support this attraction.  It never fails that there are no one dollar bills in my purse and I'm forced to decide between a twenty dollar bill, a box of Altoids, or a prescription for some pain killer that I never filled.   While I personally would prefer the latter, I reluctantly hand over my twenty dollar bill and drive out of the impending darkness that is quickly closing in on us.  

  The Christmas display, however, that my children and I love the best is the Hanging Santa in a very upscale neighborhood.  It is a marker of the holiday and Christmas would not be complete without it.  In a beautiful two story home, the owners have proudly displayed a life-size Santa Claus in their upstairs window.  The problem is the fact that Santa's head is cocked over to the side and if you are positioned just right on the street below, a light fixture behind Santa creates the illusion of something rising up from his head, or possibly neck, creating a disturbing image of a hanging icon.  But because we have a twisted sense of humor and we know this is not intentional, we love the Hanging Santa and look forward to his arrival every year.  I do hope they don't ever forget to display him at Christmas.  It's better than the "Tour of Lights" and brings smiles to everyone in my vehicle and those hanging out of the sunroof, trying to capture photos of this jolly elf.  

  The grand prize for holiday decorations, however, goes to a small tattered home off the main highway.  It sits in the middle of a row of forgotten houses, some condemned and some simply still trying to provide refuge to any family that lands on its doorstep.  A strand of garland has been draped over a chain link fence and a string of lights lays across the front steps.  A cardboard nativity scene has been placed in the back yard clearly telling all that this family still believes in a higher power when material goods are few and far between here and blessings may be harder to understand.   It just goes to show you that joy can be found in the most unlikely of places.  Sometimes, you have to simply open your eyes and look for it.   While the path to happiness is not always marked with a string of lights or flashing arrows, the path is there and some times we all need to set down our burdens for a minute and enjoy the view.  




  

  


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mink That Made Its Way Home

             When I was five years old, my grandmother would care for me before school each day.  She would turn the stereo console on and play big band music from the 40's.  I remember dressing up in her mink stole as we danced around the living room spinning and twirling to the classics.  She told me that one day the mink would be mine and I hoped that I would be as beautiful as she was wrapped in luxurious mink.     Time, of course, came and went and my grandmother passed away many years ago.  I have often wondered what happened to her mink stole and wished that I could wear it just one more time.  Little did I know, my grandmother had given the stole to her daughter and sometime during the early 80's when fur was not fashionable and we were wearing hideous things like leather pants and spandex, my aunt tossed the mink into the Goodwill bin near her home. She did not know that anyone actually wanted the mink and donated it to charity.  She told me she remembers lo

Peace, Love and What???

  There is nothing more precious than child innocence.  While it appears that this message may, indeed, be upside down, it seems that an upended pink ribbon is a call for better testing for earlier detection of breast cancer.  Who better to deliver such a message than a group of young girls with bright futures ahead of them?  While my daughter actually has no idea that she is holding the poster upside down, her mistake quietly sends a much more powerful message across this field. Who knows, but any one of these young ladies, excited about their part in participating in a campaign of hope, could go on to be the one to discover just such a test or cure.   So even if the symbols are upside down, or even fall to the ground, our youth are learning to be a part of something bigger than themselves and might just one day deliver this message exactly as they innocently displayed this Fall day in their youth.   Picture by Kathi Kolb www.accidentalamazon.com

Snapped Rabbit

Photo Courtesy of Hershey's    There is almost no greater joy than the pure chocolaty goodness that lies in the rectangular patterns of a Hershey’s bar.  While some people enjoy cigarettes or liquor or even illegal drugs of choice, my addiction lies in the innocence of a candy bar.  It is something that is enjoyed in small pieces, savored, one rectangle at a time.  Whatever genius designed this heavenly creation, divided the bar into 12 miniature rectangles, all looking like a small version of the whole.  It’s mind boggling if you really think about it.  It’s much like putting two mirrors together and seeing into infinity.  With each bite of Hershey’s bar you find more rectangles calling your name.   A wise person knows not to listen to their sirens call, but to snap off only one or two pieces and move on without looking back.   Photo Courtesy of B Jobse    My children know the power of the Hershey’s bar and fully understand that stressful events can bring on the dippi