Is it a mere four days to Christmas? The most glorious holiday of all? My house is all decked out; every room is aglow in candlelight, tinsel, snowmen, village houses, Rudolph figurines, many-colored garland, angels, and of course my Christmas trees which hold treasured ornaments and memorabilia from over the years.
That’s not all . . .
I’m in the midst of Christmas baking. What about you?
Do you have favored recipes for those special times of the year, too? Brown-sugar and cinnamon cookies topped with a powdered sugar glaze in red and green, a chocolate cake that I will adorn with vanilla buttercream frosting and my beloved chocolate-covered cherry cookies, which I would be run out of town for, if I failed to make these.
In between there have been Christmas cards coming in and going out, gifts to buy, food lists to keep stocked and my Advent readings to go through slowly, every day. It is still Advent, you know, that silent season of preparation where we wordlessly lay our burdens, hopes and cares on God’s doorstep and wait for Him.
Why Does This Matter?
Think about all I’ve just written. Christmas preparations in my house or any house are not mere inanimate objects placed all around a space to just make it look different or pretty. They are done with a purpose, with a philosophy, or a stance that this is my life, and that’s why it’s here.
It is important to me.
Because each and every piece of Christmas that I will lovingly wrap up and put away sometime in January, has a meaning in my life. It connects me to another, it’s a memory of something that is no more, it is a remembrance of a past Christmas that I can never have back. Yet, in my own special way, I can have it back through an object which links me to that other person, that though inanimate is full of life and light in the dark days of December.
Becoming a grandmother is a blessing like no other
I’ve heard that said many times over the years, and it is one of the truest maxims there is! Raising your own children, you have no time, or not enough time, for the little things that float through each day and can be seemingly lost, if you don’t pay them attention.
But, because I am not the main care-giver to my girls, Julia and Marisa, I’ve been given the gift of “seeing” things and hearing things which otherwise, would be lost in the shuffle.
Take for instance, one afternoon when Julia came home from nursery school. She’s in pre-kindergarten, and goes to school three days a week. Occasionally, Mommy is working and cannot pick her up, so a good friend of mommy’s picks Julia up along with her own son at 4:00.
Later, when Mommy calls after her plane lands, (my daughter-in-law is a flight attendant) she is usually in Florida and she is waiting for her return trip. It was then that Julia told her mother that “my teacher took me to another classroom, then Danielle picked me up and brought me to Grammy.”
WE would say, we ended up in another classroom, where we waited for our ride to take us home. That’s not what Julia saw. She saw people in her day. First, one teacher, then another, finally her mother’s friend who brought her to her grandmother. No idle classrooms; no empty halls or shiny new vehicles; no home sweet home on the block as she rolled into the driveway.
A familiar face. A teacher’s face, a friend’s face, a Grammy face. I saw it right away, and realized that THIS is how a 4-year-old perceives her world. Not in inanimate objects, but in loving, caring people she knows.
Snoopy was hanging on a tag
Last summer, when she came down early after hearing me come into the house, Julia showed me this tiny, tiny, tag on the side of her jammy bottom. It was of Snoopy the dog. It was almost so small you would miss it, or certainly not care about it. Yet, Julia made sure I saw her Snoopy tag. It was important, that little dog!
No one would have noticed that tiny Snoopy tag; but Julia saw that beloved beagle, the same one who adorned her 3rd birthday decorations, and just had to tell me about it. Because when you are 3 or 4 or 5 years old, people and beloved animals are your world. Not smartphones or tablets.
Kisses like no other
Lastly, there was a little assignment that each child in Julia’s class had to talk about. It had to do with a special time during the day, that was special to them. Julia picked bedtime and when describing how bedtime works in her house, she said that “mommy and daddy kiss me to bed”.
She didn’t say mommy and daddy give me a kiss and I go to bed; this image is of parents kissing their children all the way to bed. Charming, and it will be with her, and her sister, all their lives.
Dog kisses are the best!
Marisa, our little tot-tart, loves to come and visit our house, but will tell me how Scooter (one of my dogs) will bite her. Of course, Scooter has never bitten anyone, but because he gets all excited, jumping and barking and carrying on when they walk through the door, Marisa seems to think that a bite is not far behind. Still, she wants to visit Grammy and Gramps, Piper and Scootah!
As we walk through these final days of Advent, let’s keep in mind how different our world can be when we see the people (or pets) in it, not just the decorations, the trappings, or the events. Certainly so simple a concept that even a four-year-old can teach it to us.
“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
See your life through those who are in it. They are there for a reason, no matter the season.
Just another way to
“Homekeeping Inspirations for Crafting Your Best Life!”