During this time of year, I often wish I could see Christmas through the eyes of a child. I remember there was a time when I once could. Of course I WAS a child at the time.
Growing up in my family, any mention of the season until after Thanksgiving would result in a stern lecture from my dad and a stern glance from mom. There would be no Christmas through the eyes of a child, teenager, young adult, any immediate family member until the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers were completely used up. Ah, but once the fridge was at last empty of any reminders of Turkey Day it was all systems go! At last… the Christmas season could officially begin!
Christmas through the eyes of a child, for me, began with the excitement of getting the tree! The tree, the tree! The picking out of the tree! The smells, the decorating, the lights! And as I got older, “who forgot to water the tree! Get the broom!” I think Christmas trees are an important part of seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. I wish all who wanted one could have them. For years while growing up, we would have a real tree. Then one day my dad came home with something different. A fake silver foil tree. It was all the rage at the time and my dad loved new fangled things. He was seeing Christmas through, well, HIS eyes. Once he added the three color lighted wheel, Christmas through the eyes of a child took on a whole ‘nother concept. We went from traditional to modern the minute the last silvery plume was attached and he plugged in that three colored revolving light. We all sat in the darkened living room and got slowly hypnotized. I had to rethink Christmas trees for the next four or five years. They weren’t green anymore. Not at our house.
Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child absolutely has to include the thrill of what’s under the tree as well. Presents! At my house, they weren’t just under the tree. They were hidden on it, behind it, and everywhere else that something could be stashed. As I got older, part of the fun of the season was trying to find all those hidden presents that weren’t wrapped yet. And we would. Ok, I would. My brothers weren’t as good at it as I was. Or maybe they weren’t as devious. Like others of my generation, when I was growing up we only got presents at Christmas and on birthdays. Other holidays might include candy, but real presents happened only twice a year. Now that I’m an adult… well, presents come whenever the amazon boxes show up on my doorstep. Which is, sadly, often. I want it, I want it! Yep that inner child lives on. So, this time of year, I wrap what I have ordered for myself and stick it under the tree. Yippee!! Presents!!
Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child is about colors, lights, sounds, smells, anticipation, wonderment, a bit of greed (come on, the minute the holiday catalogs show up we ALL experience it), holiday goodies! It’s the taking in of everything related to the season! (It’s also about whining, tantrums, etc., but that’s NOT what we’re focusing on here.) It’s not about how many bills need to be paid. Our adult aches and pains. Who has to travel where. “Great, we have to spend it there, with them, again?! Why can’t they come THIS way!” “We spent how much?!” “How much did they spend on us?!” That’s certainly not Christmas through the eyes of a child, though it is… childish.
I don’t want to be childish, but I do want to be child like! I want to see Christmas through the eyes of a child with the same wonder, excitement, and anticipation that children feel. It takes some work, but I’m doing it. I’m taking in the sights, the lights, the sounds, the treats, the shows of the holiday season. Thank you Hallmark Channel! I love this time of the year with the Hallmark Channel. (Stop rolling your eyes.) Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! Elf! All the shows, programs, festivals, and events of the season, non-secular and secular, are there for us to see. It should be a time of enjoyment. Try and forget, even if just for a little while, each day, those things that cause you worry, sadness, concern. Find time to be wide-eyed with wonder, with joy, with anticipation! The holiday season will be gone soon. So for it’s duration, I intend to try and see Christmas through the eyes of a child… like I used to do.
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