Christmas would not have nearly the magic it does without children. They take delight in so many things about the season and see things from a perspective we once had but, in some instances, have long forgotten. My own children are a constant reminder of the importance of keeping the big picture in mind when dealing with Christmas.
If you know me personally or have read previous posts on this blog you know that my family, like so many others, has had some frightful financial struggles recently. During this time I frequently allowed my expectations of Christmas to needlessly stress me out. Several Christmas miracles (one of which I recorded here) helped me regain my perspective, but far and away the greatest miracle to me was my wife and my children.
My wife would somehow come up with presents - trading things with friends, doing pedicures or taking on other projects to earn a little money - and she relished doing it. She still does. Although I would frequently retreat into my grinch alter-ego, it is impossible not to feel the excitement my wife has about doing something for her children. And that is always the focus - the children. She doesn't spoil them with fancy presents, but she has a talent for making our kids feel loved on Christmas morning. And it is so fun watching her feel sneaky about the presents she gets for them. She calls me up the minute she has put a plan into action.
On Christmas morning the children don't disappoint either. They squeal with delight at every little thing and, oddly enough, it is the little things that seem to make them smile the most. Last year Tail Gunner would not leave his stocking to open his other presents. I watched my kids get excited about toothbrushes and their own personal tubes of toothpaste two years ago - and it wasn't a put on, they were genuinely thrilled. Somehow my children know that it really is the thought that counts, or maybe it is the sheer joy they see in their mom's face as they open their presents, but they just bask in the love on Christmas morning and their smiling happy faces make even an old grinch like me smile.
Children fill a home with the Christmas spirit, because children have a natural ability to detect love. During this sacred season they instinctively react with joy as we celebrate the greatest love ever manifest to mankind.
I am grateful for my children, and the love they bring into my life.