Saturday, January 6, 2007
Today, on Twelfth Night, also known as Little Christmas, I re-read this wonderful little book. I love the story which first appeared in a publication called Farm Journal in 1947. A woman is thinking about the Christmas just past. Her grown children have been back home but it has not given her the joy she expected from the holiday. She decides to make an old-fashioned, familiar Christmas for herself. She gets the tree a neighbor is taking down, and she brings out all the old decorations and books.
Tonight she would light the candles and have a fire, and do all the things she always wanted to do at Christmas. Perhaps in the very doing of them she might find some sort of refreshment and wisdom to take up again tomorrow the cares that lay upon her heart.
Her cares are variations on the ones all mothers of adult children have. Will my child's marriage last? Will my other child find a good partner? Is the youngest going to succeed in college?
Through the process of decorating the house and remembering the happy times when her children were little, she creates an atmosphere that brings about changes first in her, and then in her relationships with her three children, and then in the childrens' own lives.
When they had left, Margaret came back into the pine-scented, fire-warmed, candlelit room, her heart melting with joy! New wisdom and understanding had come to her along with hope and relief. On this, the anniversary of the holy night when the Wise Men had come to worship the baby in the manger, her own children had been given back to her, safe from the perils which threatened them. They were all one now, as in the past, close and secure in the circle of love.
This book is one of my treasures.