The True Meaning of Christmas
The other day my husband and I decided to ask our kids what they remembered getting for Christmas last year. Do you know what they said? They couldn’t remember one thing. This indeed surprised us as we knew that they had received a couple of big toys which they play with quite often.
So we decided to go even further. We asked them what they remembered about Christmas last year. Their response warmed our hearts. Our son remembered watching the Christmas parade at Uncle D’s place and how we helped decorate his Christmas tree. He remembered daddy pulling him on the sled behind the four wheeler. Our daughter remembered baking Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music. She specifically asked if we were going to decorate a box and send those special treats to our neighbor like we did last year. They both talked about driving around looking at Christmas lights while once again the sounds of Christmas came from the radio. Our daughter also added that she loves lighting the candle at the Christmas Eve church service like we do each year!
You see, without even trying our kids reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about the presents they have under the tree. It’s the memories we create, the traditions that gather family together and giving back to others.
Sometimes we get wrapped up in the commercialization of the holidays. The hustle and bustle and wanting everything to be perfect; the perfect gift, the perfect tree.
We lose sight of what’s important.
After this enlightening conversation, it made me do something I thought I would never be able to let myself do. I let the kids decorate the tree! Yes, that’s right. I didn’t care if the ornaments were perfectly spread out and evenly placed. I didn’t care if there was a bare space and 3 ornaments on top of each other. I just sat back and watched the joy in my kids eyes with each ornament they placed on the tree. I listened to them singing along to the Christmas music, while my daughter occasionally would stop to spin like a little ballerina and my son would pause to try and copy the tune he was hearing on the piano.
This year more than ever, it’s time to slow down. It’s time to reflect on the positive things right in front of us. Create new traditions and continue old ones.
Stop and enjoy every minute. Who cares if it’s not perfect because it is perfect in the eyes of our children and that’s where memories are made!
Sarah Meikle has been a Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start since 2015. She is a certified trainer for the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework through the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds and a facilitator of the Active Parenting Training. She enjoys partnering with local organizations and agencies to help serve the families of Lenawee County. She was raised in Adrian where she attended Madison Schools. She now resides in Tecumseh with her husband Andrew and their two young children, Camden and Kaylee.by