I don’t think my home was ever as beautiful. Peace had descended. All was calm. My family was tucked into bed. With fragrant candles burning and a warm fire crackling, I cuddled up in an armchair in front of our Christmas tree and drank in the scene.
I was grateful for the peace and calm, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable or settled. Far from it. The parents of a sick young boy had called that evening to ask for Christian Science treatment for him. I had been searching all evening in my prayers for that sweet assurance that comes when one knows all is well, but hadn’t yet felt it.
The Christmas season and the pre-holiday preparations had always meant a great deal to me. In fact, I loved to recreate a storybook Christmas in our home, full of sweetness and delight of sight and sound. But as I prayed for the child, I could feel something shifting in thought. As I sat alone by the tree, the material trappings of the holiday began to recede from thought as I considered the true meaning of Christmas articulated by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, in the following statement: “An eternal Christmas would make matter an alien save as phenomenon, and matter would reverentially withdraw itself before Mind. The despotism of material sense or the flesh would flee before such reality, to make room for substance, and the shadow of frivolity and the inaccuracy of material sense would disappear.