The holiday season is under way and, once again, I’m completely overwhelmed with a sense of wonder and joy. As soon as lights start to appear on houses and streets, I am transported back to childhood. It was a time when anything could happen; miracles were expected; and love abounded. At least, that’s how I remember it.
Having a small child in your home for the holidays helps bring this wonderment to life. We decorated a little early this year, at least it was early for our home. Thanksgiving weekend was spent putting up the trees. We have five. We decorated the house and put on the Christmas music. Through it all, Cassandra was in the middle of everything.
She helped hang the lights and ornaments. She squealed with joy at the inflatables that appeared on our lawn. She danced to the Christmas songs that blared through the house. And, when presents appeared, I thought she might melt into a little puddle of happiness.
Cassandra just turned three. This year, Christmas is an occasion to anticipate and enjoy. She understands who Santa is and what that means for her Christmas morning. Our first batch of Christmas cookies was deemed yummy. For a three-year-old, this is certainly a magical time.
But, what about the rest of us? A few minutes observing the wonder in a child’s eyes is great, but is it enough to get us through the season? After all, people can get cranky and pushy as they try to purchase the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Weather can cause frustrations that make us act out during the day. And things that are completely out of our control, like government shutdowns, make our financial realities a struggle. It can be more than we can bear.
We’ve made it a point to concentrate on making the holidays magical for our children. We focus on giving more than receiving. We look for ways to give back to those in need. We spend our time looking for ways to make other people happy. And, believe it or not, it helps.
I encourage you all to put differences aside this month. Find ways to embrace those who are hesitant to embrace you. Give the children in your life a few weeks of wonder, magic, and love.
- Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, 2 biological kids, Guardian of one adorable toddler, and has been the foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She has worked with kids in the foster care system for over two decades, actively advocating for all kids, but especially those in the LGBT community. And, in her spare time, she can be found preaching in some of our area’s most LGBT-friendly churches. Feel free to send your parenting questions to her at Pastor.Kelly@comcast.net.