Let There Be Light For Your Children

Mamacita says:  I love driving around and looking at other peoples’ Christmas lights at night. There is just something about lights that gives me hope for the future. And twinkly lights? They give me hope for a magical future. Colored Christmas lights? Bright white lights?  Hope for a wishes-come-true future for my children, your children, all children. The other night, driving home from the college, there were more decorated homes than undecorated. By the time I got to my own home, I was full of hope.  I don’t decorate the outside of my house, but you should just see the inside!

In fact, I wish you could see the inside.  Come on over!  I’ve got cookies.

Ahem.

It makes me wonder about the kind of people living in those dark homes. Or ‘houses,’ if they were not preparing for a holiday.

Whoops, was that a personal prejudice showing there? I b’lieve it may have been.  Sorry, grim ones.

You people who do not celebrate life at certain celebratory times: do you celebrate at all? Does ANYTHING make your heart extra-glad to be alive? Is there anything that makes you rejoice, or want to make others happy, and want to share your gladness with the whole world? Are you standing on your front porch, glaring at all the happiness around you, and mocking all your neighbors as they dress their homes for the holidays (as we dress ourselves up ‘specially fine for ‘specially fine occasions) ?

I don’t mean that dazzle has to show on the outside, necessarily. Just so there is something on the inside of the house to designate wonder, and a special day.

Whether a family celebrates Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever. Just to celebrate and show gladness over something, on a regular basis.

We were too poor to do much about Christmas for many years; maybe that’s why it means so much to me now.

I know there are people out there whose personal beliefs hold no toleration for celebration. I’ve had students who never blew out birthday candles, or hung a stocking, or had any kind of day singled out for any reason whatsoever. I’ve been asked NOT to put a sticker or stamp or any kind of decoration on a child’s perfect paper that might make him feel special in any way. And while I have always tried to respect the beliefs of others, and while I have always tried not to criticize any family’s particular quirks, I can’t be quiet any longer. I have something to say to families who do not allow their children to celebrate anything:

Shame on you.

Everyday life can be so, well, everyday. Even happy familes can get in a rut of mundane-ness. Life can be so Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday-ish if we don’t bestir ourselves and do something about it.

And, children are so responsive to a little effort on our part. Just a simple thing like a birthday cake, a candle, a stocking, or twinkling lights, or cookies shaped like stars, and a child’s face will not only reflect those lights, it will surpass those lights in brightness and wonder and appreciation. We owe it to our children to make sure they realize there are worlds of wonder living side-by-side with the world of everyday life. Each world needs the other for proper contrast.

If you have dedicated your life to making sure your child will never know the awe of celebrating something, then I repeat: Shame on you.

It isn’t just Christmas. Some people celebrate absolutely nothing. My heart aches for their children.

I’ve said before that parents have the power to separate ordinary days from extraordinary days for our children, and for ourselves. Use your power, for your children’s sake and for your own. Give your children’s lives some special sparkly moments. And hurry up with it, because every day your child is one day closer to leaving you and setting up a household of his/her own. Make sure that the few years with you are good years. Give your children memories of magic and twinkling lights, of birthday wishes and valentines and sparklers, as well as the memories of everyday life. Both are vital. Both are wonderful. Key word: both.

Remember that the two best things parents can give their children are roots and wings. Roots AND wings.

Yes, I love the Christmas lights and decorations. Even houses covered with wet tinsel and droopy inflatable snowmen contain someone who made an effort. And a little child won’t see the wetness and the droopiness, just the sparkliness and the jolliness.

Do it for your kids. Make things special for your kids. Don’t tell your kids that celebrations and decorations are “stupid” and go on your merry way making sure your kids have nothing merry in their own way.

Rouse yourself a little, make wonderment for your kids. If it’s against your religion, than maybe you need to question authority a little. Because any religion that preaches against joy and wonder and celebrations, isn’t a very good religion. So there.

And SHAME on you if you don’t.

(Let’s all put a lid on the blue lights, though. Blue is NOT a Christmas color, and when you have a white tree covered with blue, it looks like it should be in a funeral parlor foyer.) (Blue is better than nothing, though. )

When your children are grown and gone and look back at their childhood, will there be anything special to remember?

If not, YOU screwed up big time.

Now, let the wild Christmas rumpus begin. . . . .

 


Comments

Let There Be Light For Your Children — 10 Comments

  1. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.Jingle Bells I’m a southern belle all the way.Tis the night before Christmas and all in the south we are not stirring except the house mouse. Of course, I got up and walked at 5:00a.m. good girl….Our stockings are hung, the presents wrapped.I have cooked so much I need a nap.
    I love my family near and afar.Hopefully we can meet soon, but not in a bar. (ha,ha)
    I want to shout since I’m out of sight Merry Christmas to all on an eve so bright! Your southern cousin, I bet you know who????

  2. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.Jingle Bells I’m a southern belle all the way.Tis the night before Christmas and all in the south we are not stirring except the house mouse. Of course, I got up and walked at 5:00a.m. good girl….Our stockings are hung, the presents wrapped.I have cooked so much I need a nap.
    I love my family near and afar.Hopefully we can meet soon, but not in a bar. (ha,ha)
    I want to shout since I’m out of sight Merry Christmas to all on an eve so bright! Your southern cousin, I bet you know who????

  3. I have to protest your blue light bias, Mamacita. Where is it written that blue isn’t a Christmas color? It’s not just a red/green thing. Blue is in the string of multicolored lights, and I find blue to be very soothing and peaceful. I don’t have all blue lights this year, but I have had them in Christmases past and possibly will have them again. What I can’t stand are the blinking lights. Too neon…too commerical. Too busy. But that’s just my bias, of course. I say: To each his/her own in the creativity of decorating.

  4. I have to protest your blue light bias, Mamacita. Where is it written that blue isn’t a Christmas color? It’s not just a red/green thing. Blue is in the string of multicolored lights, and I find blue to be very soothing and peaceful. I don’t have all blue lights this year, but I have had them in Christmases past and possibly will have them again. What I can’t stand are the blinking lights. Too neon…too commerical. Too busy. But that’s just my bias, of course. I say: To each his/her own in the creativity of decorating.

  5. Oh come on. You certainly can’t judge me for not wanting to spend all that time and effort decorating (and then undecorating) the outside of my house. I mean, that’s incredibly judgmental. You can’t discern my heart from looking at the outside of my home. Don’t we already have enough “performance anxiety” at the holidays?

  6. Oh come on. You certainly can’t judge me for not wanting to spend all that time and effort decorating (and then undecorating) the outside of my house. I mean, that’s incredibly judgmental. You can’t discern my heart from looking at the outside of my home. Don’t we already have enough “performance anxiety” at the holidays?

  7. One of our favorite Christmas traditions…on Christmas eve, I make an ENORMOUS Italian meal…we stuff ourselves…then we pile into the car and drive around looking at lights, oohing and ahhing and seeing who added what to their display this year. My son is in the Navy…and the first Christmas he spent away from home was very hard on me. He was on an aircraft carrier on the other side of the world. I got busy! Two days before Christmas, he received three boxes…one held a tiny tree with ornaments, two bags of fake snow, and Christmas music CD’s. Another box was full of presents, the third (and his favorite) was full of food…my homemade fudge, his favorite cookies, a big Hickory Farms box full of cheeses, crackers and the beef stick and summer sausage he loves, candy canes, his favorite coffees and teas. He called me Christmas day and said “Ma, you told me Christmas would find me wherever I was, and it did…my buddies and I want to Thank You, for sending Christmas.” So the tradition has continued, wherever he is in the world, its my job as his Ma to send Christmas. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

  8. One of our favorite Christmas traditions…on Christmas eve, I make an ENORMOUS Italian meal…we stuff ourselves…then we pile into the car and drive around looking at lights, oohing and ahhing and seeing who added what to their display this year. My son is in the Navy…and the first Christmas he spent away from home was very hard on me. He was on an aircraft carrier on the other side of the world. I got busy! Two days before Christmas, he received three boxes…one held a tiny tree with ornaments, two bags of fake snow, and Christmas music CD’s. Another box was full of presents, the third (and his favorite) was full of food…my homemade fudge, his favorite cookies, a big Hickory Farms box full of cheeses, crackers and the beef stick and summer sausage he loves, candy canes, his favorite coffees and teas. He called me Christmas day and said “Ma, you told me Christmas would find me wherever I was, and it did…my buddies and I want to Thank You, for sending Christmas.” So the tradition has continued, wherever he is in the world, its my job as his Ma to send Christmas. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

  9. Very few things make me cry… Ok, ok! I’m a sentimental fool, but generally I cry when things really stir my heart and my soul.
    You make me cry, in a good way, two or three times a year.
    So here I sit in front of my computer, stuffing my face with panettone and bawling my eyes out.
    Think I’ll call my mother and thank her for the roots and the wings!

  10. Very few things make me cry… Ok, ok! I’m a sentimental fool, but generally I cry when things really stir my heart and my soul.
    You make me cry, in a good way, two or three times a year.
    So here I sit in front of my computer, stuffing my face with panettone and bawling my eyes out.
    Think I’ll call my mother and thank her for the roots and the wings!

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