As Advent ends and Christmas is nearly here, the simple joys of children come to mind. Sometimes you never know what will come out of their little mouths or heads. I was talking with my friend Carol last night and she shared with me two little “stories” of one of her nieces. Both of them made me laugh out loud!
Evelyn turned nine years old on December 9th. On December 8th Evelyn said to Carol:
“I want to stay up till the clock turns to midnight because I want to remember what it was like to be 8 because tomorrow I will turn nine years old and won’t be 8 anymore.”
Last Tuesday, this same nine year old, while changing out of her school clothes and putting on play clothes asked: “Do you know what is so cool about socks? It doesn’t matter which foot you put the sock on! They fit both feet!”
In a year such as we have all experienced with the pandemic, with the loss of friends and relatives, the loss of jobs, the isolation and loneliness experienced by not being able to gather as usual, it’s good to just notice the little things, the simplicity of life, and those special moments when a little child brightens your day…or makes you laugh out loud!
“You will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
The tiny bundle of life that was Jesus came into this world in meek and humble surroundings. He allowed himself to be vulnerable, to become human, to be born in a stable and laid in a manger. Thanks to Mary and Joseph and the wonderful people they were, he was surrounded by affection and, as we know, grew in wisdom and age and grace before God and humankind.
Children’s lives are incredibly precious and it’s important to take time to simply delight in them, especially in this Christmas season. So pay attention to children like Evelyn who can bring a smile to your face or laughter to your life. It’s a precious gift. ‘Tis the season to be glad, when hope is born again. Perhaps when you hear the familiar Christmas carols being sung, stop and really listen to the words and give thanks for the Word that became flesh, Emmanuel, to be God-with-us for all times.
Barbara McMullen, CDP