Over the past couple of weeks I have started to get ready for Christmas, decorating the house, baking, and creating Christmas lists. It is a great time of year as I start right after Halloween, breaking out the Christmas music and Christmas movies and start transforming the house.
I clean as I go, so the house gets a thorough clean, even if it is only once a year (ha ha! -seriously I do clean a little more often). But often this is the time when I get into some of those nooks and crannies that get missed in the regular cleaning. It gives the house such a nice fresh, warm, cozy feeling.
I always wonder why the house feels so nice around Christmas time, all decorated and warm, I can just sit there for hours and gaze at the lights or watch the fire. I don’t know if its the anticipation of the coming holiday and events, or if it is simply a cleaner, less cluttered house (as I put away a lot of the extra things that are around); or simply the feeling of love and acceptance that permeates the world at this time of year. I often wonder, as I am sure many of us do, why cannot we not experience this feeling throughout the whole year?
One of the things that is the most fun about Christmas is watching the kids reactions to things, especially the little ones. This year Luke and Chloe being almost 3, are very aware of what’s going on and are constantly expressing their excitement and delight in what’s going on. So each day when I put up something new, Luke and Chloe are there oohing and awing. Because for them it is like they are experiencing it for the first time. Even though they have had 2 Christmases already they don’t really remember or get what it was about.
And it makes it so fun for me to introduce something new and make it special. When I put up the garland in the living room, I made sure the lights were plugged in the next morning so that they could see it when they came downstairs. “Oh Mommy look lights!” they run to tell me in delight; and then we had to leave the lights on all day.
When I put up the snowman shower curtain in the bathroom they started jumping up and down and clapping “Oh look snowman! Penguins!” Then they wanted to touch it and look at it and hang out in the bathroom for awhile.
Chloe helped me one day take out some of the Christmas Party Lite candle holders I had. Her eyes lit up each time I brought out a new box and she delicately helped me open and unwrap them. She put snowflakes in the bathroom, and thoroughly examined the gingerbread house.
Both Luke and Chloe love the outdoor lights on everyone’s houses, especially the snowman across the street, that Luke diligently goes and checks on after supper each night. They love the nutcracker on top of the tv and talk about Santa Claus every day, not because he brings them presents but because they know and recognize him, but that he is a part of Christmas. Even when we are shopping in the store, Chloe is oohing and awing and pointing out the Christmas decorations.
It is going to be a wonderful Christmas this year as I continue to watch Luke and Chloe discover it. Everything is new, everything is exciting, a wonder and delight to look at and discover. Matthew enjoys and gets excited for Christmas as well but now that he is older it is for different reasons and some of the wonder and delight he experienced as a young child is not as present as it used to be. It makes me a little bit sad to realize this, not only for him, but for us adults as well. Why not experience the pure joy and delight of the season not only this year, but every year. What if we were to approach it as if it was our first Christmas, something to delight in and discover, share the joy and excitement? Imagine what Christmas would be like for all of us, experiencing the joy of a Christmas decoration, seeing things through the eyes of a child. What a magical, wonderful season it would be for us all, each and every year. If we allow ourselves to enjoy the little things, the joy in the lights and decorations, regardless of the amount of presents under the tree, our hearts will be full and the magic of the season will truly be upon us.
And why not apply this throughout the entire year? Find the joy and excitement in everything in our lives, big and small, especially small, because sometimes even the smallest things bring us the greatest joy. Many of us say that it would be nice if the feeling of Christmas lasted all year, well it can, we just need to be grateful and appreciate what we see and do each day. Because there is love and beauty in everything and if we approach each day like a 3 year old with the attitude of what delights am I going to discover today, jump up and down and clap our hands, ooh and awe, what a delightful existence and world we will have!
So this Christmas (and after that as well) as you prepare for the season, decorating and doing all the things you usually do, pretend you are like a young child experiencing it for the first time, seeing life through their eyes, where every day is a discovery, an adventure, a wonderment of looking around the corner to find out what’s new. You’ll discover very quickly what a wonderful space this is to be in and it will become easier and easier to do so. Like anything it may take practice as some of us adults can be pretty stubborn and set in our ways, but the results of this shift will make such a difference in our life and the world. How can you resist such a wonderful and easy solution? If we live from our hearts with love we can never go wrong, just like a child, watch the world of wonder unfold around us.