They stood on the side of the road, in the dark, waving little hands and shouting.
Sometimes they sat and sometimes they jumped—but most of the time they stood…waved and shouted.
Sirens blew and horns honked.
Flashing reds and blues chased the night in circular motion.
Whites and greens blinked by the thousands.
We sat near the curb. Though at first, when the flags strolled by, held by those in uniform, we stood. I removed my hat…and the men that stood, did the same. And we clapped, until they passed.
We sat back down—but not the kids.
They waved and jumped and shouted.
Every now and then, one from the streaming and blinking and flashing and blaring would fast step to the shouting and waving and jumping...and toss treat or treasure.
But one was missed, passed by, over looked.
The dancing lights bounced off the sorrow on his cheek as he clung to the leg of his grandmother. “They gave one to them and them and them...” he said. His chin quivered as he pointed to kids on either side of him—they were opening treats that were big and good and yummy. His voice stuttered and broke when he said, “H-how come th-they s-skipped me? I s-said, ‘M-m merry Christmas’"
His mother called and he trotted small steps into her arms. “Christmas is not about getting, it’s about saying…and giving a Merry Christmas.” She wiped a thumb across his sorrow and kissed his head.
He climbed into a lawn chair next to hers and stared wide eyed into the blinking and flashing and blaring.
But then it happened, and all stood still...no sounds, no bells, no whistles blew.
His little hand started then stopped and then raised all the way, his voice small and choppy with one remaining quiver. And through the tears and through the sorrow, he waved a little hand and let out the most beautiful sound, “Merry Christmas!”
And I know it's true,
because I saw it with my very own eyes,
a light did shine from his insides,
and the corners of his mouth did lift,
a smile that spread from his heart to his lips.
For God so loved the world that through the tears and through the sorrow he stretched out a hand so we could have a most beautiful Merry Christmas