'Tis the Season

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh.
O'er the hills we go
Laughing all the way.

I've been listening to a lot of this song lately as two of my children are practicing for their upcoming piano recital.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

Usually this song is just one of those silly Christmas songs we need to sing while caroling or something.  But as I've listened to it over and over this season, and think more about the words, I can't help but feel happy!  Of all the hustle and bustle that comes upon us this time of year, are we truly joyful?  We talk about celebrating, but do we honestly celebrate in our hearts the joys of this season?

I have such fond memories of Christmas growing up.  Our home just felt extra warm while Mom baked yummy goodies in the kitchen and Dad kept a fire going in the wood stove.  There was music constantly playing in the background.  I'm sure my parents felt a little bit of the pressure - - getting just the right gifts and not spending too much money - - but all I remember was feeling safe, happy and warm.

My parents never divulged the secret of Santa Clause.  I'm sure they just imagined we'd find out on our own  (which I did in a very starkly). Mom, especially, seemed to want the magic of Christmas to dwell in our hearts as long as it possibly could.

The anticipation of Christmas morning on Christmas Eve was a magical time.  My siblings and I would all crowd into one bedroom, singing and laughing and fighting until we each slowly drifted off to sleep;  though just for a few hours as Christmas morning came oh so early!  We'd then commence giggling again as we waiting for Mom and Dad to wake up.  Dad would go into the living room to "make sure Santa came" and then we'd all run in to see what wonderful gifts awaited us under the tree!

There is nothing like that week leading up to Christmas morning.  Now, looking on as a parent, I wonder when I grew up!  These days it seems we want to make sure our children know the reason for the season so much that we sometimes dash the childlike dreams of our children all too soon.  I think we can hyper focus on purpose so much that we forget the pleasure of just being.  I think the joy of believing in something magical is just as much part of the season as remembering the spiritual side of the holiday.

We are children for only a short time,  not even a quarter of our lives.  Childhood is a time of innocence, complete trust, dependency, and simplicity.  This is why I love Christmas.  My mind reflects on being a child yet again, not being so harrowed up by adult worries and stresses.  I can be young again through the eyes of my own children.  Several times my husband and I have stayed up to set up (a.k.a. play with) the gifts our children will receive the next morning.  It's one of my favorite moments!  For that brief minute we are kids again, believing in something magical!

Yes, it is so important for our youth to understand the precious Gift that was born so many years ago, giving light to the world.  But we adults can also learn from our little ones and  remember what it's like to be young again, filled with pure light!

Bells on bobtail ring,
Making spirits bright.
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight:

Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! 
Jingle all the way!
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh!


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