Yesterday as I got a haircut, my stylist and I were making holiday small talk, relating our seasonal plans and traditions. Afterward I reflected on the following: 1. If I see my stylist every five weeks (roughly) and we talk for a half hour (roughly), do I actually have more frequent one-on-one time with her than with some of my closer friends? 2. A lot of the traditions I told her I would observe with my family at Christmas seemed to involve the phrase “It’s the same as when we were kids” or “It’s like we’re all five years old again.” Such things include:
1. Coercing my parents to a tree farm where we wander around pointing at the biggest trees until my dad cuts one down. (I know. My grown-up environmentalist self has mixed feelings about this too.) Mom and Dad no longer pull us in a wagon on these trips, but the spirit is much the same.
2. Getting up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, badgering the last person asleep, and running down the stairs to see if Santa came, despite the fact that most of us arrived late the previous night and none of us are morning people.
3. Being ridiculously excited about presents even though we all say we “don’t need anything.”
4. Being ridiculously excited about colored lights and decorations. One evening this week I literally had my breath taken away at a stop sign when I raised my eyes to see for the first time a huge tree on our neighbors’ lawn all lit up.
In many instances, adults behaving like children is annoying. Obnoxious. Inappropriate. But at the holidays, the childlike spirit seems right. It’s right to let ourselves get overly joyful. It’s right to show our love for people in extravagant ways. It’s right to create beauty in our homes and neighborhoods. And it’s right to open our minds and hearts to the possibility of miraculous things, since the man Christmas is about (no, not Santa) once said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)
Merry early Christmas from me, circa age twelve (?)…