Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Buddhist Christmas

Your First Ornament, Courtesy of Mamaw & Nama

Dear Charlotte,

Today is Christmas Eve!!! Mommy is at work right now, but only for a little bit, and then she'll be home. We're going to do so much today, little one. We've got songs to sing along with, presents to wrap, dinner to make, Christmas movies to watch, and then it will be off to bed before Christmas with the Hurst family tomorrow! And then Christmas with Mamaw and Nama, and Christmas with Grandpa and Grams! It's a good thing you travel well, even with your first cold and your first teeth happening at the same time. You're a busy kid.

What's important to remember about Christmas, Charlotte, is that even though we don't celebrate a Christian Christmas, we celebrate the spirit of the season. That's important. We call it a Buddhist Christmas.

We do interfaith hybrid holidays in our house.

Daddy and Tug are technically Christian, though not affiliated, you and I are Buddhist, and the cat is Jewish (and sort of a bombing-the-dog's-water-bowl-with-a-glass-jar terrorist. Which puts her in league with the Demon Tree. Though we're still not really sure what they're protesting.) And all of that is perfectly okay and normal in our house. We celebrate all manner of holidays and important dates. And we forgive the protests and glass jar-bombings.

You are the luckiest child, Chuck. You are loved beyond measure, and you are surrounded by family and friends who would do anything for you, simply because they care unconditionally for you. There are people in the world who don't have that, and it's important to understand that, and never take it for granted. We have the ability to see the people we love, and to remember the people we can't see. We have a warm, safe place to sleep, and we know without a doubt that we will have something to eat when we wake up. There are people in the world, Charlotte, who don't have that. Many people. I tell your Daddy every day that we are not alone in the world, and that it's not just about us, and it's true. That's why, at Christmas, and every day, we try to do things for the people around us. We try to spread the love and fortune that we are lucky enough to have.

I am so excited to share this holiday, and this life, with you, my daughter. I feel blessed to have every single thing in my life. I am lucky enough to have past memories to look back on, and future memories to look forward to. You have a great-grandfather who can't be with us anymore, and who Mommy remembers with great joy this time of year. He would have been over the moon about you, Charlotte Ophelia. He was a great man, and he lived his life as honestly and proudly as he could. Oh, he wasn't a perfect man by any stretch, but he tried to do right by his family, and he is well-loved and remembered. You have a good bit of his spirit, and nothing is going to make me happier than to introduce you to his memory when you're old enough to understand what I'm saying.

Happy Christmas, sweet child.