Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Let there be wonder, and shame on you if there isn't any in your house.

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? Hope for a wishes-come-true future for my children. Last 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.

It makes me wonder about the kind of people living in those 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.

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. )

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll have time to stop at WalMart and choose a sweet dolly, some stuffies, a box of Tinkertoys, and some fancy hair-bobs. I've already got the stockings.

Let the wild Christmas rumpus begin. . . . .

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:07 PM | |


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