The Christmas Spirit

Take a moment to experience the holidays through the eyes of your child. You might learn something.

It doesn’t take much for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I’m a big kid at heart, and I love taking part in everything Christmas throughout the month of December. But after two straight weeks of violent shooting attacks—one at Planned Parenthood in Colorado and one in San Bernardino, California—I’d be lying if I didn’t say my spirits have been darkened lately.

There’s such a heaviness hanging over the world right now. Simply log into your Facebook account and you’ll see how polarizing everyone’s views are these days on everything from vaccinations and gun control to religious beliefs and politics. I find myself shaking my head at the computer screen more often than not. Every once in a while I feel the urge to engage someone in an intellectual debate only to decide that, in the end, it’s not worth the Facebook post trouble.

For the past week, I forgot it was December. But something brought me back, and that something was my daughter.

Seeing the joyful innocence and pure excitement appear on Maggie’s face as she helped decorate the Christmas tree this past weekend gave me cause to stop for a moment and hit the pause button on life. She danced around the living room with silver tinsel wrapped around her body, singing “Frosty the Snowman” at the top of her lungs. And every ornament she picked out of the box came with a question—what was it, who gave it to us, what does it mean? She was genuinely curious and engaged in the task at hand. As I held Maggie up so that she could place the angel on top of the tree, I caught a glimpse of a silver ornament hanging nearby.

It read: Peace on Earth.

By the time we finished and the tree stood tall, twinkling brightly in the corner, my Christmas spirit had rightfully returned. All thanks to the wonder in the eyes of my three-year-old.