Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finding Meaning in Christmas

"All grown-ups were once children. (But few of them remember it.)"
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you allowed yourself to be a kid, or even remember what it feels like? Why do children love Christmas so much? It's the magic, the wonder, the surprises, the happy relatives who show up, not just the gifts.

I was just remembering what my children loved about Christmas. Yes, they got excited about what they wanted and what they hoped Santa would bring. But they also were excited about the family who would all gather at our home, the mashed potatoes and gravy, the way my son would play guitar with his uncles and my daughter would get to reconnect with all her cousins.

I watched an old home video on Thanksgiving of my daughter at age "6 and 3/4" on Christmas. I'm videotaping her and asking her questions. When I asked if she had anything else she wanted to say, she said "yes, I'm really wondering how Santa comes down our chimney, and how he gets all the gifts to all the kids on Christmas eve. He must be pretty special." It was such a treat for me to watch her, hear her voice and see that wonderment on her face. That is the childlike quality I'm talking about -- having that curiosity about life, marveling at it and accepting the gift that it is in all it's glory.

I'd like to invite you to look at life this month through the eyes of your inner child. Allow yourself to experience the joys of this season through the lens of that childlike wonder and acceptance of all the good and joy that is there for you. I believe we have much to learn from listening to that child that still dwells within us and he or she needs to come out and play from time to time.

What is your inner child wanting or needing right now? What small act would feel good? Building a snowman? Baking cookies? Creating something by drawing or writing just for fun? No "shoulds" here, only what feels good. Try it, and let me know what comes up for you.

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