a christmas miracle

It was the year when THE Christmas gift for little girls was a Cabbage Patch doll. What year was that? '83? '84? So you were maybe five or six...

You wanted one soooo badly.

You don't know what it was about those ugly-faced, yarn-haired, autograph-bottomed dolls, but you were dying to have one. It was at the top of your Christmas wish list.

The Santa bubble had already burst for you. After all, you'd recognized he had daddy's eyes when you were just three. But—even more recently—Jesus became the only reason for the season.

So that Cabbage Patch doll you wanted? You weren't asking Santa for it. You were asking Jesus. And your parents too, of course.

Despite the hard times and the sold-out stores, unbeknownst to you, your parents had found you one. They had it safely tucked away at the top of the closet where you wouldn't be able to find it.

But when your aunt told them she was struggling to find one for your cousin, they sat you down and filled you in.

They told you they'd bought you a Cabbage Patch doll, and even where it had been hiding. Then they told you about your aunt, devastated over not finding one. You imagined your cousin, brutally disappointed on Christmas morning. And when your parents asked what you'd think about giving up your doll so she could have it, you said yes.

You don't remember what you felt in that moment—because, honestly, you don't really recall any of this, only the stories about it. But you imagine that tears in your eyes accompanied the sense in your heart that you were doing the "right thing."

Fast forward to Christmas morning.

You wish your mind could play back for you in vivid detail this particular December 25th. You wonder if you woke slower than Christmas-morning-usual, less eager to tear into gifts, knowing your prized doll would not be under the tree. You wonder how disappointed you actually were, and if your face gave away your heart.

Gifts were opened. Family came over; more gifts were exchanged. And by the end of the day, you'd somehow unwrapped three Cabbage Patch dolls. Three!

Your parents were just as surprised as you were. But there they were: three Cabbage Patch dolls—when you were expecting none.

It was a Christmas miracle.

Fast forward three decades.

You no longer think in terms of Christmas wish lists, but if you were being completely honest, you'd admit that your wishes bubble at the surface of your heart all year long.

You still don't write letters to Santa about them.

You don't really even ask Jesus for them. Not any more.

But they remain wishes nonetheless.

The memory of your Cabbage Patch Christmas story keeps coming to mind, and you don't know why. It lingers close, pestering you from the inside out. You try to shake it off, but—just like a catchy T-Swift song—it doesn't budge.

And then you realize:

It's because deep down, you're hoping for another Christmas miracle...

"Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight."