12 Days of Christmas Memories: Joy of Children

My three children, Christmas 2012
My three children, Christmas 2012

Children bring special joy to Christmas.

In my first Christmas season as a mom, it snowed almost 12 inches on December 22.   That day also happened to be my firstborn’s nine-month birthday.  I took a photo of him belly-crawling in his blue pajamas, in front of the Christmas tree in our new home, with the beautiful snow in the background.  When I see that photo, I am filled with the joy our first baby brought to Christmas.

Our baby boy represented new hope and healing for me and my husband.  As children of divorce, Christmases were often difficult for us.  They were stressful, divisive, exhausting experiences.  Before we were married we discussed how we would create different experiences for our children.  We wanted holidays to be free from strife and negativity.  We wanted to chart a new path.

That year our boy reveled in all the excitement.  He was fascinated by train displays.  He loved banging his new toy hammer and looking at new books.  He loved sampling new foods.

His joy and wonder was contagious.  Everyone wanted to hold him, play with him, and make him smile.  As the firstborn grandchild on both sides of the family, our son brought joy to so many his first Christmas.  He gave us a reason for celebration.  He united us.

I think baby Jesus accomplished the same purpose on that first Christmas:  he brought a new joy, a special wonder, a reason for celebration.  I think that’s why babies inspire us in the same way at Christmas.

As the years passed and we added two more children to our families, our joy increased.  Everything seemed new to us through their eyes:  snowflakes, colored lights, cookies, toys, the Christmas story.  They took delight in what we took for granted.  We got to be kids again, watching the classic TV specials of the Grinch, the Peanuts gang, and Rudolph with them for their first times.

Our little ones gave us reason to press on through holiday conflicts.  We worked hard to keep the stress of family conflicts unknown to our children.  We wanted to preserve a peaceful Christmas for their sake. 

That’s what Christmas morning has been in our house—peaceful.  An oasis of peace in the busyness.  A few hours of joy reserved for the five of us.  A sacred time to create happy memories.

I hope when our children are grown, they will preserve time only for their own families at Christmas.  I hope they will revel in the joy children bring to Christmas—that they will slow down and look at the Christmas story with wonder, excitement, and peace.

Questions:

How have children brought joy to your Christmas?

When do you feel like a kid again at Christmas?

How do you reserve special time only for your own family at Christmas?

Blessings to you,  Sarah

P.S. Today is Day 8 of 12 Days of Reader Tips for Christmas Peace.  Be sure to leave a comment on my related Facebook post with your tip!

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