Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30: A Childlike Christmas

It's nice that my last day of daily blogging coincides with the first day of Pom Pom's A Childlike Christmas Blog Party. Today and every Wednesday in Advent, a whole lot of folks will be blogging on our notions of what makes for a childlike Christmas and how we ourselves can be a little more childlike about the season.

When proposing this idea for a blog-along, Pom Pom asked, "Do you want a childlike Christmas?" Which leads one to ask, what is a childlike Christmas? We're speaking of "childlike" in the most positive way here, as opposed to the way I sometimes think of it, which is to say muleheaded, unreasonable, boorish and irritating.

What are children good at? Well, they're good at believing, for one thing. I believed in Santa Claus so much that I kept on believing him even after my mother told me he didn't exist. I was a champion believer, as most respectable children are.

Children are good at looking at the stars and wondering who else is looking at them at the very same time. They are good at wishing on stars, and they are good at thinking that stars are winking at them personally.

Children are good at thinking that plain, even ugly things are beautiful. They will love the bejeebers out of a stuffed animal that has lost its eyes, its nose, and half of one ear. They will whisper to it, "Hey, gorgeous" while they feed it pretend dog biscuits.

Children are often astonished by very mundane things on a daily basis. Ants, for instance, and shaving cream. They are astonished by sticks, and leaves that are half red and half brown. They are frequently astonished by interesting gravel.

Now, I'm not sure I'm up to being astonished all the time. I don't have the energy that a child has, and I think astonishment calls for a good deal of energy. But I like the idea of spending the Christmas season astonished at least once a day, preferably by something small and rather quotidian.

So that would be a childlike Christmas for me, a Christmas where I take time to look around in wonder and remember to be delighted.


Thank you, my dears, for putting up with my on a daily basis this past month. I've had fun, but I think I'm ready for a bit of a rest. Just for a few days, to collect my thoughts. Now, off to read all my fellow Childlike Christmas bloggers!


wayside wanderer said...

I think wonder and delight sum it up well! Children have such a large capacity to believe in the magical and to imagine things that I am sure God created but no eye has seen just yet. I have enjoyed reading your daily missives. I will miss them (even though I didn't always comment...I have been reading). Enjoy your break!

Betty said...

Isn't this a lovely way to see Christmas, so much fun and so GOOD for us!

Angela said...

Well done - 30 days and NO passes! Now you have got into the habit, do you think you will be blogging more often?

I think that one great thing about children is that their joy is untarnished by the worldly cynicism of adults. I loved your comments about ants and shaving cream etc.

have a good December. Since I read your post on pre-christmas eating, you will be pleased to note I have eaten neither Mince Pies NOR sausages!!

Advent blessings x

Pom Pom said...

That's exactly it, Frances! Wonder and belief. You remind me of one of my students who brought a rock to school. He found it in a field and he was sure it was very valuable. He began to plan what he would do with the money and everything! Of course, the next day he was back to talk of war planes and video games.
I love the way my sixth graders speak about dogs. Their belief in the sweetness of dogs is adorably childlike.
I have LOVED your every day blogging and I thank you for it.

Floss said...

I like your point here. Our younger son, even though he's nearly 13 and obsessed with computer games, is also delighted and astonished by snails (he occasioally keeps a few as pets) and by the clay that the diggers have recently hauled out of a nearby hole in the ground. He's been experimenting with extracting clay and making small shapes, which he's firing in our log fire - it works! The point is, our adult response is, by default, likely to be 'yuck, don't get dirty, it won't work, why are you doing that?' We've forced ourselves to pick up some of his natural enthusiasm and have found it all worthwhile!

magsmcc said...

Well, esteemed Frances. Thank you! Words fail. Astonish.

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh, I so do agree with you. I have a three year old grandgirl living next door and she is always, always astonished and thrilled by the smallest things -- especially the pea gravel that is in our backyard. We are always playing with it together and looking for special pebbles.

I am determined to be thrilled by the little things this Christmas season too. Like a child, I want to be a believer!


Tracy said...

Wow Frances you did it. A whole month, no weekends of or anything. Well done, you!

I understand you need a break. Really I do. But I've so enjoyed your company and musings throughout November. You've made me think about other things apart from that which usually consumes my brain.

I'll miss your daily posts.

victoria said...

I want that.
You have pondered so many interesting things in these 30 days and it's been most enjoyable to read.

magsmcc said...

Hey Frances, me again! Have been pondering the Willows Tour. If they get to you by Christmas do you want to hang on to them and force feed them full of enough turkey to foie gras it across the Atlantic after 25th? Doubt that they would make it here by New Year or even Epiphany, but first stop of New Year would still be new country, new continent! Or else send them straight on if you're fed up with Toad's inappropriate behaviour, Ratty's constant seeking after water, and Mole's interminable housework. Think he'll hate it here!

The dB family said...

What a beautiful summary of a childlike Christmas. I have a little girl here with a winter coat pocket full of interesting gravel :o).