Parents love to give gifts to their kids at Christmas. Each Christmas season we spend a lot of time and money selecting gifts that will make our children happy. While there is a lot of joy in all this parental gift-giving, there is an element of it that makes me quite frustrated.
While the pre-Christmas gift-buying can be stressful, it’s what happens after all the Christmas presents are opened that can be the most agitating to me.
You might recall in Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story, A Christmas Carol, The Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Ebeneezer Scrooge and shows him how other people, particularly Scrooge’s nephew and Scrooge’s exploited clerk Bob Cratchit, celebrate Christmas. During its appearance the spirit noticeably ages and reveals to Scrooge that he will only exist on Earth for a very brief time, which is implied to be that single Christmas holiday.
Dicken’s Ghost of Christmas Present provides a befitting commentary of the exasperating problem I confront each Christmas season–Christmas presents that get broken often before Christmas Day is over!
Yes, the remains of these broken toys laying by the Christmas tree in pieces or in silence are the ghosts of Christmas presents.
After all the Christmas gifts have been opened and played with, I begin the process of filtering out those toys that are so annoying that they are going to get lost!
So, why do I give the toddlers toys that have the potential to be so annoying?
That’s a good question that I’m still searching for an answer. I’m not sure, but it might have something to do with the grandparent part of me.
All I can say is that it seems like such a good idea when I buy these annoying toys. I imagine the joy on their little faces when they open the present. Little do I consider the vexation the toys are going to cause me soon thereafter!
You’ve probably heard and even sung the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” many times during this season of the year.
Have you ever wondered what that means? Twelve days of Christmas?
In England in the Middle Ages the Christmas season was one of continuous feasting and merrymaking beginning on Christmas Day and climaxing on Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Christmas season.
It was forever etched into popular culture when William Shakespeare used it as the setting for one of his most famous stage plays, titled Twelfth Night.
The lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas may have no meaning at all or have yet to be satisfactorily explained.
However, certain modern folklore claims that the song’s lyrics were written as a catechism and a number of Christians give biblical meanings to the gifts such as a partridge in a pear tree represents Christ, two turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments, and four calling birds represent the four Gospels.
While the meaning of this song has no relevance to what I want to say, it’s some Christmas trivia that I thought you might find interesting and does provide some context for the following observation.
I wrote this post several days ago before the massacre at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. In light of that event and other heartbreaks that people I know are facing this Christmas season, I submit this Christmas message from our family to yours as a reminder of how fortunate we really are even when we think we’re not.
Christmas is a time of year filled with wonder and joy, the hope for new beginnings with the new year just around the corner. (At least, once you get all the Christmas shopping done)!
But for many people it is not!
I must admit that for most of my life I have never encountered much tragedy or heartbreak. And I’ve been pretty good at not noticing the problems others around me are facing.
Although Christmas is a joyful and meaningful holiday for our family when we celebrate the birth of Christ, I’m finding that Christmas can have a down side to it.
Recently, I noticed several Facebook friends expressing thankfulness each day during the several weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
The purpose of the exercise was to adjust their perspective towards thankfulness and appreciation.
It’s a changed perspective we would all do well to have–expressing to God and people what we have to be grateful for rather than complaining so much when things don’t go the way we like or think they should.
And I have to confess, I do a lot more complaining than I do thanking.
You see, you can’t be thankful without telling somebody thank-you! And I don’t do enough of it!
Well, Thanksgiving Day is past and we’re now into the Christmas season. But I think it’s still needful and appropriate to express thankfulness, so I’m going to follow my friends’ examples and list what I’m thankful for.
Only I’m going to do it in one list–ten things I’m thankful for.
It’s Little Kenzie Riding Hood….
It’s the day after Halloween and I’m exhausted!
Halloween is finally over with and done for another year!
Hasta la vista, baby!
Sure, I’m tired but I’m feeling mellow, I’m chillin’…
Because it’s the day after Halloween!
And I reassure myself, “They will grow out of it. They will get too big for costumes and candy highs and trick-or-treating!”