The arctic blast that has enveloped most of the country has turned sunny south Florida into a frigid zone. Waking up to a 39 degree temperature is not something you think will happen when you live down south, yet even Florida is fighting the cold and it is another year of freeze warnings and watching the citrus crops all over the news. It does feel nice however, to wear some warmer clothes, jacket included, while heading out putting the final touches on Christmas. During the day you will see people with sweatshirts and some diehard northerners still sporting shorts, but at night once the sun has gone down the ‘hard core’ winter gear shows up. Although I have given up my northern tradition of cutting a Christmas tree (it is hard to do when the closest trees are 400 miles north of here) and replaced it with a monster 9 foot artificial one, I do miss the feel and smell of a real tree in the house. I loved the yearly trek to Connecticut with a bunch of friends in tow to search for the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree while sipping hot chocolate and of course singing Christmas carols. So I found myself the other night while running some errands, wandering towards a Christmas tree lot, which is under a big white tent to just take a look at some of those Frasier fir beauties. Within 50 feet of entering the tent I could smell the wonderful aroma of those trees. I remember that smell so very well from all the trees that once stood in my house. I walked among the dozens while watching people make their selections. In one corner there was a mother with her little boy about 5 or 6 years old. He was bundled up like it was 0 degrees out. Winter coat, hat, scarf, gloves and even boots. The choice of trees was overwhelming as he just couldn’t decide which one would be just right. Finally making a selection, he believed he could help his fellow tree shoppers with their selections while his tree was prepared for the journey home. His enthusiasm for everything Christmas was contagious as he told everyone who would listen that the cold weather was Santa’s way of preparing us all for the holiday. He believed Santa had sent us the cold weather as reindeer liked the cold much better than the heat and they had to be able to pull a really big sleigh this year because he was expecting lots of toys. He had been extra good this year because his mom had a new baby and he has been the best big brother in the world. Although it was tough at times, since babies cry and always need their diapers changed, he tried really hard and somehow managed to not scream at the baby. He was so excited with the cold, the tree and Christmas he said we might even get some snow here in south Florida! “Santa has magic and he can make it snow in Naples if he wants to.” I left the tent with a smile on my face, enjoying the cold more than I believed possible as I witnessed the magic of Christmas, the excitement, innocence and belief of a child. Christmas if for children, and everyone who believes.
Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to!