Christmas Miracles (or why I would never commit suicide)

Okay so that’s sort of shocking. Christmas miracles and suicide.

I could riff for a bit about how putting odd juxtapositions in your writing makes for compelling storytelling (or titling). I could because it does but I’d rather talk about the stuff of miracles because it’s Christmas and I love the surprises (read: miracles) that are attendant during this time of year.

Like this morning Elizabeth Bluemle‘s blog at Publisher’s Weekly was delivered to my RSS feeds and, in it, she shares funny and beautiful moments happening around the world. Moments where people are touched by life’s extraordinary yet simple events. Like this moment where a chorus wraps a California food court in the Hallelujah chorus. Watch it and see if your heart doesn’t swell a bit.

Or this moment when the illustrious SIr Ian McKellan vists an elementary Shakespeare class and he says, “I always cry a bit when I come here.” Why? Because he is struck by how at home he feels in that room. He feels known.

Or this moment when the teacher of that elementary Shakespeare class, Rafe Esquith, speaks about the book he has written about teaching children.

What cracks my heart open and makes my eyes sting with tears is the surprise of these moments. We don’t expect when we wake up in the morning to be surprised or touched or moved. We may long for it but we go about our days, heads down, doing our tasks and then, whoosh, it happens. Suddenly we are reminded of all the possibilities that life holds for us as humans. Love. Beauty. Passion. How could we not well up? It is what we long for. We want to wake up every day and feel surprised and touched and alive.

I do.

That’s why I love Christmas so much. Oh I know, folks get all upset about the commercialism. But what I love is behind the curtain of commercialism: People buying a gift because they truly love someone; Or surprising them with that thing they mentioned back in July; Or filling their stockings with everything that delights them because you absolutely know what will delight them and it absolutely delights you to see that delight burst on their faces.

Christmas doesn’t corner the market on surprises. Beauty, passion, kindness happen every day. The trick is to be awake and alive so can have your heart opened a little wider.

Have a merry and sweet Christmas.

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