There are nine days left until Christmas, and I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit. This year is challenging because the pandemic has created chaos for many family-get-togethers. Ever since my dad died, I have not wanted to celebrate the season. It’s a struggle for me to get into the holly jolly mindset when inside I feel alone. The virus has made planning difficult. Yet, I refuse to allow the urge to stop celebrating and focus on what I can do as opposed to what I can’t achieve. This season is sharing and not for complaining. In that spirit, let me give you all a story.
Daria and her little brother Timmy lived in a ranch house in Tennessee. She studied to become an attorney while her brother wanted to own most of Hollywood. They both were hard-working and attractive. Their parents perished in an accident when they were very young. Their aunt, Jodi, raised them to pursue their dreams without abandon. They lived and worked tirelessly to achieve a better life for themselves.
Daria loved to research various topics. One evening, she came across papers that her father left behind. They were stories about the journeys of Santa and the gifts he left behind that weren’t visible to the naked eye. These gifts changed lives.
Daria found a story about a young girl named Rachel which left her enchanted. Christmas Eve, 1953, there was a little girl named Rachel. Rachel was vivacious. Everyone she encountered seemed to be taken in by her coal eyes, rosy cheeks, auburn hair, and pinkish lips. At the age of ten, she knew the mountains like the back of her hand. Her father took her hiking with him. They were in the mountains of North Carolina, and she knew which mountains were easier to get to the top. That Christmas Eve, Rachel thought she saw a dove on top of the mountain. She was determined to get there and try to capture the dove. She scaled the mountain higher, and fear overtook her. She wasn’t using the appropriate gear to climb. Her father had started getting the gear on himself and didn’t notice she had started scaling without the proper equipment. When her father realized what had happened, he was shaking with fear.
They had hiked numerous times before, and nothing like this had ever happened. What could have caused her to start climbing without thinking? Her father knew he had to remain calm. There was a ranger who happened to be nearby. Her father enlisted his help to help retrieve his daughter. It took time to get to her, but when they were able to reach her, the ranger helped get her safely back to the crest of the mountain. Once Rachel was safe, the ranger asked her what made her start climbing without thinking through her actions? She started crying and saying Santa’s Dove. “Santa’s what?” the ranger asked. “Santa’s Dove,” she replied. “The dove was as white as Santa’s beard, and Santa was there. I saw him.” “I had to get to Santa,” she exclaimed. Looking bewildered, the men inquired why she needed to get to Santa. Her words stunned them.
“Santa has magic. He can bring people back to life.” The men didn’t know how to respond to that statement. Rachel was mourning the death of her mother and thought that Santa could bring her mom back. She didn’t understand that Santa’s magic couldn’t raise the dead. Her father knelt beside Rachel and brushed her hair out of her face. He explained that while Santa couldn’t bring back her mother, he had the power to spread love and kindness to people who least deserved it. Her dad indicated that love is the greatest gift we can receive or give. It is through the love we share that we can experience life in all the colors of the rainbow.
Rachel cried hard. She missed her mom fiercely, but from that day forward, she swore the dove she saw on the mountain was near her. Rachel grew up and had a family. She passed on the story of her excursion to her children. One of those children was Daria’s father. Daria cried as she read the story multiple times. Her father died when she was young, and she could relate to the struggle Rachel endured. Daria decided to put together a scrapbook of stories that she found her father wrote.
Those stories remind her of the fragility of life. When I first heard this story, I wondered about the authenticity. There are several variations of this story, but the moral is never to take a day for granted. Life is short. Cherish the ones we have while we can. If you can’t gather together, you may want to get together online. Share the time we have with each other. Listen to one another, and exhibit unconditional love during this season. Most of us crave the magic of healing. We have the power to help heal our nation. It starts by listening. Communicate with each other this season and give yourselves the greatest gift you can – love.