Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Season's Reason

by Tammy Bundy

Something was missing.
I was going through the motions. I was playing all the parts. And still something was missing.
I’m talking about my Christmas spirit, here. Or lack of it.
Now, usually I am among one of the biggest kids I know at holiday time. My oldest will not even go shopping with me during this time of year, because all the stores are playing Christmas music and I cannot always be held to my promise of not singing in the middle of a department store. I mean, who can resist the urge to sing along with “Jingle Bell Rock”---even if your daughter and four of her closet friends are watching?
But this year it hadn’t happened for me yet. Something was missing.
Maybe it was because the holiday displays hit the stores before my kids had even hit the streets for trick-or-treating.
Whatever the reason for my lack of cheer, I knew I had better put on a happy face and get moving. There were cookies to bake, presents to buy and a house to decorate.
And it was during this last stage of events that I discovered something---or something was discovered for me.
My youngest and I were sorting through the musty boxes of stored decorations, accomplishing little more than inventory.
“Oh, I remember this!” he would gush as he pulled out each and every item that had made it through another year. “Do you remember this one, Mommy?” he would ask.
Now, this is the point where I would usually turn into a seasonal sentimental fool, picking up each ornament and recalling when, where and why it was purchased.
Not this year, though. There was just something missing.
“I can’t find it,” my son’s words, all at once, seemed to echo my own thoughts. “Where is it?” he continued as he not very gently pulled from the box various items that were obviously not what he had in mind.
“Where is it?” he intently repeated his inquiry. Before I could even ask him what it was he was seeking, his next statement answered more than one question for me.
“I found Jesus!” my son triumphantly declared.
Now, this was not so much a spiritual revelation for him as much as it was an actual discovery. He had finally found the manger scene.
“Is that what you were looking for?” I asked even though the answer was obvious.
“Yeah, Mommy. Look.” His big brown eyes were dancing as he explained the rest. “He was right here the whole time. Only all this other stuff was covering him up.”
If our lives came equipped a soundtrack, at that very moment, the Christmas carols, for me, would have begun to fill the air.
“Thank you so much for finding Him for me,” I managed to say in spite of the cracking in my voice.
“Welcome, Mommy,” he answered, oblivious to the actual discovery he had made.
And that is my holiday wish for you.
Whatever this season means to you, may you celebrate it with more meaning than ever before. But if somehow, throughout the years, you start to forget what that reason really is, I have but one suggestion:
Let a little child lead you.

From The Book of Mom: What Parents Know by Heart published by St. Anthony Messenger Press

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