And to all a good night …

On a Christmas Eve more than 50 years ago, my parents got me out of bed and took me to the window near the head of my bed.

“Can you hear that?” my father asked. “I think I hear bells!” he said. “Look up there! Does that look like a sleigh?”

He was pointing up through the pine boughs, and yes, I could definitely hear bells, and I believed I could see a distant sleigh coursing across the sky.

I learned many years later that our kind and generous neighbor Charlie Finnegan had been hiding behind a tree, shaking a set of sleigh bells – creating the perfect fantasy for a young boy who hoped Santa might be on his way.

Tonight, on this particular Christmas Eve, my wish for you is that you can feel what I felt those many years ago – what I still feel every year.

I hope you have trust in the revitalizing power of magic and community, whatever that means in your life. In mine, it means that Charlie Finnegan is still ringing the bells from behind the tree.

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