The gift which had been left on our porch brings a smile to each of our faces. It is a stuffed snowman with a carrot nose and a trumpet snug in his hands. On the round base a black lever turns left and right. As we read the directions we know our kids will love what the snowman will do. It is a decorative piece that connects to our Christmas tree which turns on the lights and simultaneously plays music. We laugh as we realize how often we’re going to hear that music.
During naptime my husband hooks up the snowman to our tree. With a flip of a switch the trumpet lifts in the air, a fanfare of music, and our Christmas tree lights dance to the beat. As soon as the kids have woken the lights shine on the tree and the music begins. In a matter of minutes we hear the rotation of songs as the kids keep turning it on and off. In their eyes I see the sparkle of lights, sheer amazement and joy radiating from their faces.
A small gift providing endless hours of bliss.
Every morning the kids run to the living room where they find the snowman and take turns lighting the tree. As soon as they hear the music and see the first flicker of light, they begin dancing and waving their arms as if they’re conducting the music. And in a way, they are conductors, not of the music, but of light. They are the ones who bring the light into the room. This lighting of the Christmas tree is one way they get to practice bringing light into the world. They’re only 5 and 2 but in a world that feels ever more dark, we need all the practice we can get bringing light and hope to fruition. It may be just the switching on of one small snowman, but it’s a start. It’s only one gift among many, but it provides a small offering of light. A light that shines in the darkness, a light that changes the world. One song at a time, one tree at a time, one child at a time.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook.