PostScripts from Blessing

The official blog of author Lauraine Snelling and the fictional town of Blessing, North Dakota

December 31, 1902 - A Note from Ingeborg

My dear friends,

I must plead for your forgiveness for not writing to you at Christmas. I had the best intentions but the days flew by and here it is the end of the year. In my son's newspaper, The Blessing Gazette, he ran an article about the word January that is taken from the Roman god's name of Janus who was two-faced so he could look forward and back. Two-faced is the last thing I want to be but this is a good day for looking back and tomorrow, January one will be a good day for looking forward.

Christmas here at our home was so lovely. I always look forward to lighting the candles on the tree. Haakan always has two buckets by the tree, one of water and one of sand, both to be used to put out a fire if we forget and don't watch the candles closely enough. As we light each candle, the tree glows more gloriously. Such small candles but when they are all lit together, such bright light and you can see that light reflected in all of our faces.

Isn't that what Christmas is about? Christ came as the light to the world and he calls each one of us, a little bitty candle, to glow for him. The flames flicker in a draft but straighten back up and shine.

When I think of the drafts in my life that cause my flame to flicker, things like anger and fear, resentment if someone else doesn't act the way I think they should, one of my hardest is when someone wounds someone I love. Dear Lord, forgive my flickers. I so want to be the bright light that You want me to be.

When Haakan reads the Christmas story from Luke, it is all I can do to not cry, it is so beautiful and so precious. But these are tears of joy and and I rejoice in the great gift God sent us in this baby. I look around the room and I rejoice in other gifts my great God has given me; my family, my home, warmth and light, the fragrance of the tree, the love we all share. Haakan looks up and I can see the love shining in his eyes and face and I cannot keep back the tears. It is a good thing I have a handkerchief because I am not wearing my usual tear drier, an apron.

Little Inga, my first granddaughter kept saying "pitty, so pitty," as she stared at the tree. Thorliff and Elizabeth held her most of the time so that she couldn't touch. When we blew out the candles, she said, "ohhh, no." I felt exactly the same. Oh, no, is it over? But it's not. Our celebration continues all year through. And for that I am thankful too.

So over the miles that separate us, I wish you God Jul and all of Christ's blessings in this new year.

Your friend, Ingeborg