“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
What do you remember about your childhood Christmas?
A red felt stocking?
Blinking lights on a tree?
Playing in the snow?
A certain smell- hot cocoa or your grandmother’s cinnamon rolls?
A warm plush coat ? Maybe it was neon pink or baby blue.
Hand knitted hats and scarves that were so- not- in -style but made you feel like you were loved?
Freshly falling snow, the kind that are huge flakes and make the whole world appear magical?
Maybe your home wasn’t your safe place, but when you walked into a friend or relatives home you instantly felt a sense of belonging , of community.
This is what all those songs are trying to capture. Nostalgia, love, belonging. Being loved, and being surrounded by people you love.
When we say it’s not about the gifts, this is what we’re trying to capture. Those feelings and memories that are stirred up in our hearts. That make us all long for home – wherever and whenever that was for us- this time of year.
Christmas is a state of mind.
You don’t remember every gift you have received.
Your children won’t either. They’ll remember how they felt. Did they feel loved, seen, safe, cared for, accepted?
Did we – the parents- go out of our way to do something they would enjoy? This is what we will be judged on, remembered by.
They won’t care that we put in long hours to buy them that thing they think they have to have.
They’ll remember us. Hazily, and as interpreted through their own childish eyes, which is exactly how we remember the adults of our own childhood.
It’s the togetherness. The time spent sitting next to each other , reading , or starting at the lit tree in a dark room. It’s watching snow fall, and impromptu dance parties. It’s snow days and warm chocolate cookies.
It’s not Barbie or Lego. And it has nothing to do with the supply chain. (Aren’t we glad?)
It’s the Simple things. The small things.