Sunday, 4 December 2011
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
We don't really do Christmas. I have always thought that to see the spirit of Christmas through the wrapping of commercialism that accompanies it gets harder each year. The cynic in me sees it as a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in our own way, by going to the mall of our choice. In packed parking lots, people sit in their vehicles, hopefully following people who seem to be walking towards their cars with the same dedication as the wise men who followed the star. Everyone is frazzled and upset as they search for the perfect gift like they were searching for the stable in Bethlehem. It seems as though the whole hype of expensive presents and "get, get, get" fills everyone with an almost religious fervour and desire.
Also, when you have kiddies, you can't avoid the endless parade of Christmas parties. Last year we had six to go to. They all tend to blend into one, I am afraid.
However, a real highlight this year was the Multiple Birth Club's Christmas party. I think for the first time, the kids have been old enough to really appreciate the entertainment provided. I was amazed as they sat transfixed by the magician (Little Miss Snoopy too), for a whole half hour. Normally within that time period they could have got up to some serious mischief, but no - Zappo had them eating out of the palm of his hand. Just the looks on their little faces reminded me that Christmas is really not about opening our presents at all - it is about opening our hearts. It is about seeing the world through the eyes of a child once more, when everything is wonderful, where every decorated tree is thirty feet high and you are surrounded by the ones you love and who love you.
My favourite quote about Christmas actually comes from a book loved by children the world over:
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
So to all the cynics like me out there, take heart. It is not about presents under a tree. It is about your presence in their lives. You can find the joy of the season in the smiles on your children's faces! And perhaps (or even most definitely!) that is all that matters.