A Child’s Christmas
Column by David Reynolds
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While waiting for Christmas you were not quite sure what was happening. Yet, your imagination was able to put all the pieces together. You discovered that life is a miracle. And then correctly assumed that every piece in it was also a miracle.
There was white on black, snow on snow. While playing at Christmas time, you were told to wear wool that itched. It doubled your weight. Yet you were not warm.
In spite of losing out to the cold, you were winning at the serious business of enjoying life. You had it all figured out. You knew that it had nothing to do with planning, so you never made plans.
You had the usual family collection, a mom, a dad, maybe a brother or a sister. There were also spies who came in from the cold. You knew them as Grand. The men would get lost sinking in overstuffed chairs while the women would join a kitchen staff large enough to serve an army.
There were other visitors. Their was an aunt and an uncle. They, too, brought presents. There were the useful ones and there were those you enjoyed. As for toys, all came with instructions that were of little help. You questioned why it was necessary to learn to read.
Still everyone smiled. And you smiled back. For it was Christmas and you were a child.
What else? What else do you remember?
Most of all you remembered a feeling of trust. As a child you had no suspicions, no required proofs of purchase, no warranties and no money back guarantees. All were completely useless.
Christmas was filled with music. The great choral works thrilled your parents. You knew not why. Nevertheless, you did understand one lyric, “For unto us a child is given, For unto us a son is born.” And thus you understood every Christmas carol ever written.
On Christmas Eve you saw the darkness outside your upstairs bedroom window. It did not scare you because it was the holy darkness that allowed you to see the true light.
This light went everywhere. It even went downstairs to reveal a tree strung with other lights. An indoor tree! Who would plant such a thing? Maybe everyone was a child. That would be nice.
Why such lovely memories of Christmas past? Was it because you felt more than you saw? Of course it was.
However, as you grew older the butterfly in you flew away. And with it your imagination. So you built a cocoon without yellow brick roads.
How does one get back on the right road? It is easy. Remember that the vision of Christmas is a feeling — and feelings are the stuff kids are made of. If it takes being a kid again to find your true feelings, then do it. Go back in time. Then you will be able to express the ultimate feeling — the feeling of love.
Feelings are all that matter at Christmas time — or during any other time. So, be a child. Go find yourself. And have a Merry Christmas throughout the year.
Personal note: I am indebted for my Welsh blood, from Dylan Thomas who wrote “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” to Dorothy Thomas Reynolds, my mother and a newspaper reporter whose thoughts can be found here and in many other columns. This blood still flows. There is a third grandson, Dylan, and a second granddaughter, born Dec. 18, 2009. This year’s Christmas message is dedicated to her.