GENDUSA COLUMN: Become a child at Christmastime

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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For the next month, hopefully, most of us will be in Christmas mode. You know, the days we scurry about trying to find deals on everything from bicycles to bathrobes. It is when glitter is fashionable, children squeal and decorated trees take over our living rooms.

This is my favorite time of year. I have a picture of myself at age 5, sitting on Santa’s knee, grinning like a Cheshire cat. My little coat is trimmed in black velvet, and Mama pin curled my straight hair for such a special occasion. I recall that day and know for sure, the visiting Santa at a department store in Tennessee flew his sleigh down from the North Pole just to see me. He must have magically thrown elfin dust over me because I haven’t been the same since.

I try my best to act like an adult during Christmas, but that just never works. I become age five every year and wonder why others don’t do the same. I never told my children the supposedly “truth” about St. Nick because I never believed that hogwash about him not existing. He sure does, and I have a picture to prove it!

Another time when I was around seven years old, my parents rented a house on a farm. In the back of our white house was a rolling pasture surrounded by a matching white fence. I loved climbing the fencing and watching the cows slowly meander about and gather. I couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve because I was so full of excitement, so I went to the window and looked toward the pasture. The moon illuminated the frost on the ground, and when I gazed up toward heaven, a brilliant star cast more light on the sleeping herd.

I rubbed my eyes, not fully believing the vision, but as clear as a bell, I knew that star was announcing that Jesus was born just on the other side of the fence.

When I told my parents about it the next day, they simply nodded their heads and said, “That’s nice, Lynn.”  But as for me, to this day, let me assure you, I saw that star! 

When a child becomes an adult and throws away all childish things, they give away too much. Some things we all should hold on to. We need to retain some wild-eyed wonderment, the belief in miracles, and the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day. Why would any of us want to grow up and not welcome such a blessing?

When we give up the notion that Christmas is just for children and remember that Christmas is for all of us; then, we might begin to see the miracles it brings. If we were to wrap up our cynicism, doubt, and complaining and throw it away, would we see the brilliant star that shines above us? Perhaps we just might if we are willing to try.

You should see me when I encounter a “Bah Humbug” person who would preferably not go to the trouble to celebrate the holidays.

They may say, “I dread all the work and the shopping!” Oh my, are they in for “Lynn’s famous Christmas lecture!” You don’t want me to come to your house with that speech!  It goes something like this:

“There is one time of year that emphasizes giving is more important than trouble. December 25 is the day in our lives to celebrate all that is good because God sent His only child to remind us that He loves us. And this is the season for all of us to thank Him for doing so. Christmas reminds us to put aside our desires and bless others with our faith.”  Yep, I preach that sermon praying it takes the Scrooge syndrome away.

If there ever was a Christmas season to behold good tidings, this one is it. We are so inundated with bad news we need to press our noses to the window and look for the good news found in the star above us. It just begins with a sprinkle of elfin dust, a seed of faith, and a determination to return to the innocent child within.

Oh, the inner child is still in your heart! The child of long ago who sat on Santa’s lap and believed in wonder. And, above all else, the baby born in the years ago still lives with us today. His star forever shines if only we look upward and believe.

“Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3. 

I sure am glad I am still just a child.