December 26, 2021 Peace Moment

Peace Moment: Clothe Yourselves in Love – The Best Christmas Present Ever

When I was a child, Santa Claus brought toys and our parents gave us toys and clothes for Christmas. Well, one year I did not want clothes for Christmas and made sure my parents knew that. So that year, it was the year I was in kindergarten, my parents asked me what I wanted from them, not Santa Claus, for Christmas. I told them I wanted a puppet theater.

My father sent the truck driver in his business to go ask for a refrigerator box from the appliance store. They cut a hole for the puppets to appear through, put a door in the back, painted it white and trimmed it with shiny black scallops. In an arc across the front they used professional signage letters to spell out “Glenn’s Puppet Theater, Inc.” and below that were cutouts of comedy and tragedy masks. A curtain rod was placed on the inside and my grandmother sewed curtains behind which the puppeteers could hide as they performed their puppet shows. On Christmas day, I announced that it was the “best Christmas present ever”, and indeed it was the one that I had imagined and that family and friends brought to life. I had been clothed in love.

But now imagine this large puppet theater in the small bedroom that I shared with my brother. A few days after Christmas, my parents announced that we were going to take the puppet theater to my kindergarten class and leave it for a “couple of weeks.” That sounded like a long time to a kindergartner, but I was happy to have my classroom friends see my puppet shows in “Glenn’s Puppet Theater, Inc.” Two weeks turned into the rest of the semester and then my parents announced that we needed to leave it for all the other future kindergartners. It took awhile for me to be at peace with that idea. Glenn’s Puppet Theater, Inc. was in business for the next six years that I was at that elementary school, and beyond. For a decade or more, my puppet theater provided a place for fun, entertainment and education for children in that classroom. Over time, I came to understand the reality of how this had truly been, the best Christmas present ever.

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