to finally get it

most christmas eves i spent
flying from san luis obispo california
to sacramento
or vice versa
to spend christmas with my mom
or dad
and i would spend the flight
with my face plastered to the window
watching for santa
and the adults on board would play around
telling me they thought they saw him

and then one year,
i think i was eleven,
i spent christmas eve
with my thirteen year old brother
in lax
(los angeles international airport)
because the weather prevented us from landing
in sacramento

the weather was so bad
in san luis
that we couldn't fly home either
so lax is where we stayed
for hours
and it was dark and scary
and we were two kids alone in an
enormous airport
and i was afraid to go to the bathroom

around ten
we flew to santa barbara
and a shuttle drove us home
the two hours,
pulling in right about midnight
christmas eve/morning

it's a good thing i had already stopped believing
in santa
or else i would have lost it all then
and a little of my childish dreams
did die that christmas eve
as we walked in the doors of our house
we had left hours earlier,
and the presents were already stacked high
under the tree,
a sight i never,
as a child,
wanted to see
until i woke up christmas morning

that year christmas lost most of its magic
and afterward it was just
a day
a day to get stuff

and years went by and
i loved christmas still
i loved it selfishly,
never beyond getting time off school
and drooling over my heap of presents

until i experienced my first christmas alive,
the year i met Grace, Love, Hope,
and i understood the other half of christmas carols
that never made sense before
about a baby being born,
the world rejoicing
and a holy night...

it was as if after 18 years of life,
my eyes were finally opened,
and i got it
i rejoiced that christmas because now
it finally made sense,
i knew what we were celebrating,
i knew why,
and i could care less if there was something under the tree,
for i was celebrating Love

*written for part of christmas in verse at the high calling blogs...*


  1. Chills and tears. Love the narrative of the poem, so real and vivid.

  2. The beginning of this poem is particularly touching. The images of your face pressed against the window (such a hopeful, yet worried image), the airport and the weather and being alone.

    I was there with you.

  3. Your words, your story, just slay me. "the year I met Grace, Love, Hope."

  4. This is beautiful -- so crushingly sad in the beginning, and then the joy and hope of Him.

  5. As a kid who spent every major holiday with my face plastered against a car window looking at the endless lights on I80 between Indiana and Illinois, I get you.

    Wow.Really powerful post.

  6. hugs to the little girl you , Amy.

  7. I loved reading your story. Your words touched my heart. I think about all the kids out there going through similar challenges...and my heart hurts for the real meaning of Christmas to break out of the boxes and wrap them up in Love. Thank you for sharing! Blessings.