|What is Christmas? It is a time when some of your dreams come true. Every year it roles around and takes you by surprise some of the time, especially when youre as close to a 100 years old as I am. You think...it Cant be time for another one, but there it is with all its hope and joy and the promise of the wishes granted. I bet you wonder what I wish for. What could an old man wish for? Maybe you think I would wish to be young again. I dont want that. Being young is a painful thing. Being young and in love to boot, which most young people are, is even more agony. Ill tell you what I wish. Id wish for the power to return some of the love thats been given me. Id wish the time and place for all that giving could be commemorated like the heart I carved on the tree around your Grandmothers and my initials. I wish too for more days to my life. Time...time to give to children some of the beauty of this Earth that has been revealed to me. A drop of water is a wondrous thing.|
A spade full of earth is a kingdom in itself. A cloud is worth watching as it passes from one horizon to another. A bird building its nest is as wondrous as men building the Pyramid, and any green thing that grows is proof that God exists. It all comes into focus at Christmas. It is a tender time. We grow cautious because we open ourselves to love. We exchange gifts, but what those presents really say is "I love you." It makes some folks uncomfortable to say or hear these words. Maybe its because theyve never learned the secret of the given heart. There are more takers than givers in the world. People, communities even countries spending their time grubbing and rooting for the goods of this earth like pigs after acorns in the Fall of the year. This is a country with a given heart and I pray it will always be so. Its a good country and its part of our strength, something that we brought with us as pioneers that we can share with the fellow who is down on his luck, with those who suffered calamities: with the loss of their homes or land or their hope. This is a family with a giving heart. You children may squabble and bicker among yourselves but youve been taught to love and to give, and thats the greatest present your Momma and Daddy could have given you. So take pleasure in the trappings of Christmas. Be merry like the songs say. Revel in the tinsel and the glitter and the sparkle and sing the old songs for all the joy thats in them and the memories they bring back. But to touch the real Christmas, to feel the true spirit of the season, look to your own heart and find all the secret treasures that theyre there to give. There is one wish that I make every year. I never said it aloud before, but Ill tell it to you now. I wish for all the seasons I have known, endlessly to come and go; the dogwood Spring, the watermelon Summer, the russet and gold of Autumn. I wish for Christmas to come again and for each of us to be here again next year at this time...together, safe, warm and loved as we are at this moment.
Read by Will Geer on "The Waltons Christmas" Album
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