family's traditions as we celebrate the return of the light at Solstice and, of course, the things we do to observe Christmas.
One of the oddest of these has to be our "Christmas Pig" -- the one in the photo above. It's hard to remember when he began taking up position, playing guard at the end of our walkway each December. But there he sits, year after year, on a complicated bicycle sculpture that's always illuminated by many coloured lights.
This year, he got an added topping of snow. As it melted, it turned to ice, giving him a decidedly punkish coif. Just as Charlotte wrote in her magical web, I have to agree: "SOME PIG!"
But believing in Christmas magic is what's been on my mind. Best of all was the experience I shared with my sister, when we looked out the window and saw (yes, we both swear to it -- and we were way too young to drink) the magical sleigh, flying through the sky, pulled along by that famous team of reindeer.
And even later, another Christmas miracle: this time when I was (still) an adult. One Christmas morning, my kids and I went out to the backyard and were amazed to find parallel marks gouged into the snow, surely the tracks of a sleigh.
Although the kids pestered me, accusing me of making the marks, I knew positively that I hadn't made then, nor could I have been as precise if I'd tried. Besides, no footprints accompanied the tracks.
A prank by a neighbour? I doubt it, as we had only lived in that particular house for about two months and really didn't know anyone who lived nearby. In fact, our next door 'neighbour' was a lumber yard -- an unlikely source for elfish tricks.
I attribute these sights to the power of belief. And if you're lucky enough to have someone in your life who is young enough (or young-at-heart enough) to have such strong beliefs in the Magic of the Season, you are truly blessed.
As for the rest of us, I can only suggest that we all try -- even for just a few minutes -- to believe. Because, if we do, who knows? Maybe tonight, even pigs will fly.
Sending Happy Christmas greetings to friends and family near and far, with hopes that you indeed find time to believe.