Yes, Virginia, there was a John Lennon who wrote "So This is Christmas" as an inspiration to us all, and with a grim footnote to us all.
The gun that took Lennon from us was one of the early shots that have so ravaged our society since, and if we were to take a minute to commemorate all of the gun deaths over the past 20 years, the world would indeed be silent tonight.
Don't get me wrong. Owning guns is a right, but we must remember the responsibility that comes with this power. Teach your children about their safe use, store them safely, and use them with respect for their potential.
Ah, another Christmas eve, and Santa and his chargers (they use Discover, Visa and Chase) are already jingling over snow-covered villages of a thousand chimneys. My 6-year-old grandson still believes, but I think he is starting to suspect. Those little nippers at school are planting some doubts in his head about who actually eats the cookies and drinks the milk.
I will miss his believing. It is the end for a lot of secret joys as the year nears its morning of December 25.
Of course, if you are like Virginia, you know Santa is alive in our spirits of caring for one another. The best brown paper package wrapped in string is the sharing of ourselves with otherselves.
The evening is here, now, and as I sit here on the night before, the aroma or pumpkin pie and "monster cookies" streams from the kitchen where ladies of my life are too busy to trouble with the dog barking to get in from the rain, and the grandchildren are crowded near the oven waiting for hot treats, ignoring entreaties to get out of the way.
Outside in the fog laced night, a rainbow of Christmas lights glow on Santa and Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and sleigh, lots of elves and bears and snowmen, and a forest of plastic candy canes.
Sometime, someone will play Silent Night, and we'll all kick off our shoes around the fireplace (no raging fire anymore since I have been told the last conflagration I let nearly burned up the carpet).
Stockings will be hung with care, hidden presents will appear, and after all is said and done, the lights go down so we linger in the LEDs of the tree and have some good red wine to celebrate our good fortune and goodwill.
It matters to me that there are homeless shivering beneath bridges tonight, and lonely souls with no person in their life to tell "Merry Christmas." These shepherds of the nighttime have no guiding star to bring them comfort. Except in their hearts, where glowing promise abides in is all.
So This is Christmas – thanks to you John – or at least the eve thereof. Tomorrow, excited children will dive headlong into the present patch, and tired parents and grandparents will look at their watches and seek coffee.
So many memories flood in. I hope yours are all precious moments.