If this were a movie...
SPOILER ALERT: If you’re not a “Star Wars” fan, you might not “get” this column. So, good luck and may the Force be with you.)
In a galaxy far far away, lived a lovely princess named SilliLInda. (OK This is my fairy tale and if I want to be lovely, I can be lovely. So there.) She shared her beautiful castle with the man of her dreams, the ruggedly handsome and fearless adventurer, Hans Harry, and his furry friend, Chewbacca Sassy Sue.
It was a tumultuous time known as the Christmas holiday.
Princess SilliLinda feared for her life every time she ventured forth to an evil but necessary place called … The Mall. She went armed with nothing but a gift wish list and a debit card, and always on the lookout for enemy Stormtroopers (also known as shoplifters ever since a few years ago she had a ring she had just purchased snatched away from her.)
During the holidays, Princess SilliLinda was being pursued by the dastardly Darth Raider, an enemy who tried to raid her Christmas spirit and suck it right out of her.
See, she was missing her only child, the beautiful maid, BeckyAnn, because she lived in Stupidtexas, (that’s what SilliLinda called it because it might as well have been in another galaxy far far away which is stupid …) and they would not be visiting each other at this special time.
So with her daughter living far far away in Stupidtexas, SilliLinda tried to fill her days and nights with meaningful tasks, such as baking cookies so she could ingest them and gain another 20 pounds, or figuring out how to wrap a gift to disguise it even though it’s bigger than the Empire State Building.
Or deciding to paint 20 ornaments to give as gifts the day they are to be given. (There’s a reason why she is named SilliLinda.) She watched every holiday movie she could find. She listened to countless hours of beautiful Christmas music. She did everything to avoid falling into the grip of Darth Raider.
In her search for meaning, she encountered a small group of talented rebels known as Kim Smith, Katie Ord, Kate Hodnik and her sister Robin Smith. They cowrote a wonderful holiday production about a quarter that comes to life and brings change to the town of Stroudsville, in a delightful musical production titled “Change.” It shows what happens when people become caught up in the “trappings” and business of the holidays to lose the true meaning of Christmas. But when a magical quarter enters their lives, it helps them find a way to “change” their attitude and way of thinking. This was its sixth year and featured the four friends and other local actors and dancers. It was just what Princess SilliLinda needed.
SilliLinda volunteered to work at the Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network’s annual Christmas gift distribution of toys for children of families who needed a little help this year. It made her aware that she has been and is a very fortunate person. She felt her heart melting as she helped a mother of five fill a Christmas wish list for her children, knowing there would be smiles and cries of delight in that home on Christmas morning. When she left, she felt like Santa Claus.
The news had been filled with such vile deeds that man inflicted upon his fellow man. It was enough to sadden SilliLinda’s heart and made her wonder if there is any hope for the world.
Then one night, she sat in her church, listening to the beautiful music with a loving message in the Christmas cantata, “Joy to the World.” But one passage from the Bible had her sitting up straighter, made her head lift up higher and her heart fill up with hope. It was from Isaiah 60: 1-3 …”Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light: mighty kings will come to see your radiance.”
SilliLinda had set out to find the meaning of Christmas. She encountered many perils and those who would thwart her search. But she remained stalwart and came to know many truths.
1. Yes, there is darkness in this world. But it takes a valiant person to seek out the goodness and light that there is in it and hopefully become a better person for following that path.
2. Christmas is not a thing that can be bought or pursued. It is something that can only be found in the heart.
3. Darth Raider is not her father. It is God. He is the only one true Force. So, may God be with you.
4. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. I think too many of us have forgotten the true meaning of the reason Christmas is a celebration. It is my Christmas wish that we teach our children the first and foremost gift any of us can receive is in knowing that God gave us the greatest gift of all, His son, Christ Jesus, and then sacrificed him so that we may all know forgiveness and everlasting life.
Now it’s time to end this little fairy tale.
This will be my last regularly featured column.
I have been truly blessed to be able to share some of my silly thoughts, deepest feelings, casual observations, and some of my life with Harry, the love of my life, the wind beneath my wings, yada yada yada … with you all.
My editor, Marta Gouger, has graciously told me that if and when I ever have the need to write a column here or there, I’m welcome to do so. And since I’m like a bad penny, you may never know when I might turn up.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being loyal readers of Linda’s Letters.
I leave you with my latest Christmas poem along with my best wishes for you all to have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed healthy Happy New Year:
O Holy Night,
A star shining bright,
O’er a lowly stable site.
Heavenly angels in flight,
Gave shepherds quite a fright
At such an amazing sight.
Wise men traveled far at night,
To behold Mary’s sweet delight,
The Christ Child … the world’s one Hope and Light.