By Rhiannon Waits
The Christmas Mess – where you can find the spirit of Christmas
Although I enjoy all holidays, Christmas remains my favorite. I still await its approach like a child in spite of the financial worries that commercialization has embedded into it. Like every mother, I worry that I won’t be able to afford the trendy gifts that are exhibited within each commercial and whose verbal advertisements seemingly emits out the mouths of every child the same age as mine. I simply look at the true significance of Christmas to chase away the scrooge virus that befalls many.
Through many Christmas’s I have been a participant, if not a leader, of numerous rounds of cookie and candy making. I have always allowed the children to “help” in the creation of cookies, which take on the shape of Santa Claus, reindeers, snowmen, Christmas bells, and ornaments. Each cookie would need to be painted with different colors of frostings to which I had prepared and placed into cups. Colored sugars and sprinkles were always close by to add if it was needed. I would hand each child a paintbrush and cooled cookies for him or her to decorate as I ensured they were within reach of all decorations.
Some children opted to help me make the batter, rolling it out and pressing the dough into the shapes of different cookie cutters. We would place them on cookie sheets and put in them into the oven to bake. Nothing can create more Christmas magic then the warm fragrant smell of the baking cookies and the unbridled anticipation of the children as they awaited the oven timer to go off.
Since each child wouldn’t leave the kitchen without wearing a large amount of the dough or frosting we had worked with, the clean up was probably the nightmares of some less enthusiastic parents. However, it is here you can see the first gleam of the Christmas spirit as it twinkles in the eyes of an exuberant child. It is past the rosy frosting splayed face that you find happiness that emanates from every pore of the child. When you look into the awesome lit up eyes of this angelic child, it is then that you truly know the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul.
The simplistic demeanor of a child infected by the Christmas spirit will far surpass the decorating of cookies. If you will enlist your children to shop with you, instead of employing a babysitter, you will be witness to another Christmas miracle. The children will be eager to help shop for, and in addition wrap presents for, everyone on the list. Displaying refreshing innocence that only a child like being could portray, they seek items that they themselves would want for the holidays. Their logic is simply incorruptible when they take their most heartfelt desires and wish for someone else to have it to enjoy. Quite, truthfully, it doesn’t curtail their desire to have it as well, but shows remarkable character in their motive in Christmas shopping. After all the presents are wrapped, with what appears to be miles of tape, paper and ribbons, another heart melting event occurs.
Decorating the Christmas tree has always been a favorite activity that I have great pleasure in doing. Although I generally sit-back and permit the older kids to decorate, I have found that watching them can be twice as enjoyable as doing it. The youngest as well as the oldest children’s face will illuminate as you turn on the tree lights for the first time. You will witness the reflection of the twinkling lights in not only the younger children’s face and eyes but additionally when their small delicate mouths form a circle shape of awe. The magical spell of the season is spread to those who take time to participate in the love and undiminished enthusiasm that dwells within each child. Buried deeply within the spirit, of each adult, is a child wanting to come out and enjoy the enchantment of Christmas.
From the gooey hands and faces of cookie bakers to the twinkling eyes of a child enchanted by the lighting of the Christmas tree, you will find the secrets of the holiday spirit if you truly desire to find it. The sight, smells, and visions that are indigenous to this time of year are certain to awaken childhood memories within us all. Sometimes it takes seeking before we find, overlooking the hardships of life to allow us to be happy and sometimes it takes finding the child within us all to recapture the magic of this loving season.
The parent who gets down on the floor to play with a child on Christmas Day is usually doing a most remarkable thing -- something seldom repeated during the rest of the year. These are, after all, busy parents committed to their work or their success in the larger society, and they do not have much left-over time in which to play with their children.
There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Carl Jung (1875 - 1961), "Memories, Dreams, Reflections", 1962
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