A horse-drawn carriage rides circles around the Historic Square in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as part of the downtown Christmas celebrations. The rides are being offered through Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m. (TMP Photo/G. Christy)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Sometimes, what we don’t understand about Christmas is more important than what think we do.
By the time we reach adulthood, we simply bring it down to a level of our experience, relying on our finite logic and reason to keep us safe.
Our hearts simply cannot embrace the things that our heads refuse to accept. So, we compromise and lose the wonder and joy of it all.
Twinkling lights had started to appear, illuminating the Square since November. Holly and tinsel, and colored glass and satin ornaments strung with garland decked the shops and the halls of the Rutherford County Courthouse.
On the Square, the excitement swelled, as all were anticipating Santa Claus’ arrival and the annual tree-lighting ceremony.
Silent tears fell across my face as I pressed against the frozen window pane of the courthouse door.
Throngs of gleeful children were shouting, “Santa, Santa, Santa!” Thousands of the joyful had assembled on the east side lawn.
The year was 2006, my first parentless Christmas.
My mood was somber, feeling lonely and empty without my parents, yet my eyes were transfixed on the revealed scene.
All was merry and bright as Santa and Mrs. Claus meandered through the smiling crowd. Young and old, each with outstretched arms were reaching in delight for just a touch of Christmas.
Somewhere within, my excitement and anticipation began to swell. I, too, began to reach into the imagination of my heart. Suddenly, I was captured – caught by this magical moment in downtown Murfreesboro.
In some unexplainable way, the secular became sacred as my emotions were freed and transformed.
Every August, at the end of the dog days of summer, for about eight years now, it’s time to think about Christmas downtown.
So, I make the call. The phone rings and on the other end, Santa answers, “Hello, darling!”
The dates are scheduled and plans are made for Peek-a-boo Santa at Shacklett’s Photography and his visit at the Christmas Downtown Celebration.
Perhaps, it is Santa’s engaging grin. No, it is what Santa says to the children while communicating a life-lesson and the mystery of Christmastime, “On Christmas morning, this I guarantee: You will get everything you need and some of what you want,” just before he belts out a jolly “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
Who can argue with that?
Truly, downtown has the one and only Santa.
The entire community can experience love’s pure light through this jolly ole man as we search for what’s real about Christmas.
Embedded in the light of the Christmas tradition is an illuminating veil of energizing dreams hovering over us and everything around us. “Joy to the World” becomes not just an intense momentary happy feeling based on our circumstances, but long-lasting joy and contentment beyond Christmas Day.
Monday, Dec. 16
Call 615-893-2369 to schedule appointment
Friday, Dec. 20
Photos with Santa Claus
Rutherford County Courthouse
Saturday, Dec. 21
Visit with Santa Claus
Rutherford County Courthouse
Bring your own camera from noon-4 p.m.