December 13th, 2009


"What a miracle that a spark lifts each candle out of the dark."

I was going to link to the BNL song "Hanukkah Blessings," because we're in the middle of Hanukkah and it's one of my favorite songs for this time of year, but YouTube has failed me. Ah well. It's a good song anyway; if you're more stubborn than I am, it's worth finding.

We have had lussekatter today, at least two of three of us have, and the third is still in bed. They are as they ought to be. I also took some down to my folks' house last night, where they and Grandma can enjoy them, because Grandma has been let out of the hospital. She's still very weak, resting a lot, so she's staying at Mother and Dad's where they can give her a hand up out of a chair or make dinner or whatever else needs doing. In any case, Grandma getting a night's sleep away from the hospital, nobody waking her up to take her vitals etc., seems like a very good Santa Lucia Day gift to me.

One of my friends made reference in a locked post to her parents' concerns about her reaction when she found out Santa Claus was fake. And I had an immediate emotional knee-jerk to that, one you would expect of a much younger person who had not been wrapping "Santa presents" for family stockings all week: Santa's not fake, said my subconscious. And I think my subconscious is right. When I got to be old enough to figure it out, my parents didn't teach me that Santa was fake or didn't exist, they taught me that Santa is not a person but rather an action. Something we do for each other. Little luxuries, tiny comforts, small joys. I could more easily give up buying anything else for my family than I could stocking stuffers, because I love those moments most, the times when something very small strikes me as likely to brighten someone else's life, the times when I can say, "For half an hour's time investment I can make my dad smile in traffic on his way to work," or, "For $3 I will assure myself that my little old great-auntie will get at least two hot nourishing meals if she can't get to the grocery store conveniently." That is the very best thing. Stocking presents don't even have to be explicable. "Here is a tiny stone wolf," you can say, and the person whose stocking it is in can say, "All right," and you can follow up with, "Santa thought you could use a tiny stone wolf for, um, for being a tiny stone wolf. See how she is tiny? And stone?" And they will say, "Yes, I do see that." And there is never, "Why, exactly...?" or, "Was this, um...?" Because it is a stocking present. It need only be small and delightful. Expensive and sensible are not required.

Of course little delightful things are nice any time of year. But I like having an excuse for them, and I like having a whole sockful.