My husband and I had the pleasure of attending our grandson’s school Christmas program this past week. I say it was a pleasure because it really was. Four days later, the thought of that program still brings a smile to my face and a feeling of contentment.
We enjoyed watching a large group of 3 – 5 year old preschoolers sing their love of Jesus. It was so much fun watching them do actions, wave at their parents and grandparents, sing, wave some more, do some more actions (not all that belonged to the song) and yes wave at their siblings and parents…….
I was a little fearful that the back row of kids were going to fall off the risers and vanish, with all the squirming, twisting, turning, waving and peering around that they were doing. I thought the teachers showed great insight when they stationed themselves behind those risers and would steady the wiggling masses every now and then.
I discovered that little girls in their sparkly dresses, velvety hair bows, and shiny patent shoes were just as mobile as the small boys were. There was a lot of energy bouncing around on the risers that night.
Somewhere in the middle of all the waving, bouncing, and twisting; those little kids told the amazing story of Christmas. Maybe it was the innocence of children all dressed in their Christmas best…. Maybe it was the atmosphere of excitement…..Maybe it was the gathering of everyone in that gym who came because of love….I am still not totally sure, but somewhere between the start of that program and the ending; the real meaning of Christmas kind of washed over me.
The feeling stole in unnoticed and was covered by the sound of children. Perhaps the sound of children was part of it? All I know is by the time we finished that program and all sang Silent Night from memory there were tears in my eyes and I had the feeling that I had just made a visit to that stable in Bethlehem with a group of preschoolers as my guide.
I am convinced that children are some of the world’s best messengers when it comes to the Christmas story. Their pure delight in praise, their uninhibited display of joy, and the love that lights up their eyes when they find their family in the crowd all testify to an unconditional love.
It was also a lot of fun to watch my grandchildren after that program. The school served cookies, coffee and juice afterwards. I had to laugh when those two wee ones would look around to see if their folks were watching and if not, another cookie would quickly disappear into their mouths. They were chewing as fast as they could.
Our weekend with our family passed way too quickly. It did not take long and we were on our way back home again. The morning we left we got to enjoy the seasons first snowfall with them. (I should say their season’s first snowfall.)
Our grandson woke us up that Sunday morning by running into our room and asking if we had looked outside. I told him no we had not. In a voice filled with wonder he announced, “It snowed.”
It did not take long and the scrambling for snow pants, boots, mittens and hats started. They sat on the deck and made little miniature snowmen, complete with twig arms, raisin eyes and carrot noses.
After warming up with a cup of hot chocolate it was time for us to get in the car and make the long drive home and for them to head for church. (fortunately for them, their church has an early and a late morning service.)
I do wonder if the raisin eyes and carrot noses on those snowmen survived till they got home from church…..their backyard is home to a lot of squirrels. I have a feeling if they do disappear; it will not be a problem. The energy and optimism of a three and a five year old will just go ahead and build some new snowmen.
Hope springs eternal in the hearts of children. Magic is to be found in every snowflake and life is something to be danced to like it was music…….and maybe it is……we might have to just listen closely with the heart of a child.
May we take the time to look at the coming week with the heart of a child. Take time to dance and find the magic.
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.