This was first posted at A Little Pink in a World of Camo for the Milspouse Holiday Blog Swap. Several ladies who participated in it have re-posted their writings on their own blogs, so for those of you who may have missed it, I'm doing the same. Have a merry Christmas!
Her eyes shine brighter than any lights on the Christmas tree. She draws in a big breath and points at the red and green decorations in wonder. She's "no more than two" like Cindy Lou Who- 17 months to be exact- but Millie takes in the glory of the holidays with more excitement and joy than anyone I've seen.
Everyone has heard it preached that we should see things through the eyes of a child. And it always seems a little trite, a little stale, a little recycled to me. Once my daughter came into the world, I realized what a beautiful concept it really is. My favorite Christmas song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", has the line ,"Let your heart be light." Millie's found the secret to a light heart, I think.
When I was young, I remember the scent of Christmas cookies would fill the house. I remember helping my mom stir the batter, and decorating them with icing that stained my fingers. I remember pulling out ornaments from dusty boxes that smelled like our attic, and turning them over to see what year I had made them. We helped each other string the big, multicolored lights around the tree, and Dad would lift one of us up to put the angel at the top. We'd sneak a candy cane here and there, and deny it if we were caught. We would shake presents for any clues of what they might be. We would spend hours in snow forts and come inside to homemade hot chocolate.
And just like my parents must have had, our family has bills that we worrying about paying. We have the stress of getting everything done before the holidays. We are tired after a long day at work or household chores. A recipe doesn't come out right. A present hoped for won't be bought. A snowfall interferes with plans. Something goes wrong, and the hopes of the holidays make it seem even more upsetting than usual.
But Millie doesn't see any of this, just as I didn't see it when I was little. She sees the beauty of the paper chain hung high and snowflakes taped to her window. She's oblivious to the number of presents under the tree, or what brand they are, or how much they cost. She hopes for a taste of sugar cookies. She is thrilled with the Christmas lights everywhere we go. She's content with the family she has around her. She sees only good things.
There's a line from famous story “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens that reads,“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.” And maybe it isn't possible to do that, although my heart would like to think so. But we all have this one day each year that has a chance to be magical if we let it. The stress and worries can wait.
Let this day be a day of joy.