This last week I have been privileged to see the happiness that our Australian Christmas festivities and wonderment can bring to a child. That child being my youngest, Jessica.
As a family we have a list of activities we try to do, leading up to Christmas: putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the outside of our house with some Christmas lights, attending Christmas Carols, visiting the Christmas lights in our community, seeing Santa for the annual photo and making Jesus’s birthday cake.
I can’t help but smile at Jessica’s joy for each of these events.
Her happiness bubbled in the same way when she saw Santa. She yelled out, 'Santa' at the top of her voice and rushed over to him each time.. You'd think every meeting was the first time she'd seen him in her life. Happiness and delight.
Now, these two different reactions are reflective of people generally. There are people I know who absolutely LOVE Christmas. They seem to thrive on the hustle and bustle, the presents, the events and partying, and the Christmas Day get-togethers. Others though do not share this joy. These people are not grouchy or grinchy. Financial woes, the loss of a loved one, poor health, or just anxiety by the pressure put on them with the season, all take away the happiness of Christmas. This time of year can bring much sadness and stress.
My favourite Christmas movie, is It's a Wonderful Life. You've probably seen it, but if you haven't, the story is set in Bedford Falls, New York, on Christmas Eve 1945, George Bailey is suicidal. Prayers for him reach Heaven and Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class, is assigned to save George in order to earn his angel wings. To prepare Clarence, his superior Joseph shows flashbacks of George's life. The movie outlines what would have happened to George's family and friends, if he hadn't been born. It demonstrates vividly the value of an individual person.
I would like to finish with my other family tradition; the sharing of Twas the Night Before Christmas, which my husband reads to the kids before they go to bed.