Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Winter's Tale

"It's the most wonderful time of the year", said Mama as she described Christmas to Reuben. "It's a time for giving and receiving, but most importantly, it's a time to remember those less fortunate than ourselves." Mama continued. "In England, Scotland and Ireland where my own Mama and Daddy and brothers and sisters are from, we hold Christmas as a very holy and religious time. The feast of Christmas warms your heart; it makes it glow".
Mama started to tell Reuben about the Nativity Story and the story of baby Jesus. This Reuben could well identify with as he pondered his love for his own baby brother, Callum, whose name means "dove".

As they strolled through the streets with the soft golden lights from the Christmas tree shining into their eyes and reflecting off of Reuben's glasses, whilst Christmas carolers sang all around, Reuben asked:
"Mama, can you tell me about Santa Claus".

"Well, the original Santa Claus or Father Christmas as we used to call him growing up, was Bishop Nicholas of Greece, who became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need and for his love of children. That's the true message behind Christmas. To give without the expectation of receiving. It's about honouring the gift of Jesus that God gave to us. Some people find it hard working out where Santa fits in with the Nativity Story, but to me, my son, it's the same story: the story of giving, of kindness and love and it transcends religions. And the Three Wise Men who came to visit the baby Jesus brought gifts to honour his birth".

"And how can I get to meet Father Christmas?" Reuben asked and with this question, Mama whispered into Reuben's ear:

"Step this way, I think I know just the place. He's here to visit children who've been good".

Mama and Reuben walked up to the leaded glass window of the brightly coloured cottage where a crowd had gathered, and, peering through the window and with eyes open in awe and window, Reuben looked through to see Santa all clad in red and with a long white beard. He looked very busy, studying letters from children all over the World with their Christmas wishes.

Santa must have heard their footsteps in the snow outside, and looking up, he gave Reuben a big smile. (He wore glasses too so that pleased Reuben no end).

Reuben sat on Santa's knees and talked to him about his wishes for Christmas and that what he wanted more than anything was for the boys and girls in hospitals all over the World to have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas with hopes that they will soon be able to go home. He was thinking a lot about his friend in CHARGE, Moriah.

And then it was time to say goodbye to Santa.

Mama started to tell Reuben that the reindeer would be riding through the snow, but Reuben was adamant that the reindeer would be flying high with Santa through the night skies.

"But wait, what's that I hear?" exclaimed Mama.

Hooves a clicking, a thundering sound on the roof above them and jingling bells.

And as sure as I stand here today, Mama and Reuben looked above their heads and saw for themselves how  reindeer really do know how to fly.

It was getting late and the silver bells of Big Ben were beginning to toll. Ring a ling, hear them ring, soon it will be Christmas Day.

The End

Photos taken at The Grove in Beverly Hills (where else would you get a Big Ben in Los Angeles!) and information on Saint Nicholas gleened from the good old web. I couldn't be more in love with Reuben in the first photo.

Please join us in keeping the true spirit and holy message of Christmas alive. It's not just another "holiday". It's Christmas.

Merry Christmas one and all.


Geraldine said...

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas, all over town!

You can see the excitement in their wonderful to be around young children in December!

Can't see all the photos though, as some are missing?

Justin and Victoria Nelson said...


This story makes me cry. It is beautiful. Thank you for honoring Moriah.
This has officially gotten me into the Christmas spirit!
We love you Dodd Family.
the Nelsons said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos. You've captured both of the boys so beautifully in your Santa montages. The Christmas Tree shot of The Grove is spectacular! Belongs in a magazine.
Looking forward to celebrating the holidays with you soon...


ellen charge said...

and a very blessed and happy xmas season to you all many hugs

Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine, amazing pictures of your two boys, you surely have captured the wonder of Christmas in their eyes. Its such a lovely time of the year and here especially when the weather is so miserable and wet, weeks of rain its a gladness and brightness to look forward to. We loved the one of Reuben with the lights behind him just gazing with delight, you have a real talent for capturing the moment. In fact we loved all of them, Reuben looks so grown up, God bless him and Callum looks ready for the next adventure. We spent a lovely weekend with Anne and Aurora, it never stopped raining but we walked lots in spite of it and sheltered under a tree when it got real heavy. So glad you are all feeling better and back to normal. We loved the stories you made up with the pictures too, that book of yours is certainly real and makes wonderful reading. We are so proud of you and all we wish for you all as a family is Peace in your lives, and may that Blessed Peace be yours this Christmas and throughout the New Year Gives the boys a hug and kiss from us Our love always mum & dad.

Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful. You’ve captured all the magic and wonder in these shots. The essence of Christmas.

I’m having Christmas at ours this year (mum, dad, anne aurora). Joe and Pete are having separate Christmas Days but we’ll all get together on Boxing Day.

SO….we’ll need to book a time to get together on Skype. Should be a whole lot easier than at ma and pas as we’ll have sound and vision!

Love you lots


hannah m said...

Absolutely, positively magical!

I needed this today - thank you for sharing such lovely sentiment.

JENN said...

It brings the magic of the Holiday Seasons...

Beautiful shots & warm memories for your family...
PEACE & Properity to all...
and wishing for a another great wonders and safe adventures with your family on the coming new year 2010....


Leslie, Arlin and Katie Kauffman said...

Beautiful story and pictures, Catherine. I love the one of Reuben with the Christmas lights reflecting in his glasses. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Kristi said...

Stunning photos, Catherine... and a beautiful, magical story.

Lisa W. said...

That was simply beautiful - the stories and the photos. I am in love with the first one of Reuben, too.