The View from My Section – A Father’s Perspective

Children help bring the magic of Christmas to life

When I think back about some of my most memorable moments with my children at the holidays, there’s no question there is one period in particular that stands out, the elementary years. Aside from the spiritual aspect of the holidays, it’s often said that it’s all about the children. And there’s no better place to witness this joy and excitement than in their elementary school years. I must say, at this time of year, if those young children don’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing can.

I remember how the teachers always put extra energy into decorating their classrooms. The parties and activities they held, like having the children make gingerbread houses and holiday ornaments, were an exciting time for the children and parent volunteers alike (myself included.) I loved just walking in the building each morning and going down the hallway with my little man by my side during that time. The children were always upbeat, and the atmosphere was positive and happy. I liked seeing the crafts and pictures on the hallway walls depicting the children’s own version of what Christmas looks like at their house. At times, it was often humorous even, to see the exaggerations in their drawings. Enormous Christmas trees and family members, each a different size (I can only imagine according to their meaning), huddled among giant presents.

There’s something magical about that age group, in particular, kindergarten to third grade. They know how to get excited, and that excitement spills onto you. How can anyone look at those grinning faces on those tiny bodies with backpacks, sometimes half the size that they are, and not smile? And when the final day before break comes and the parties are over, the high energy they have when they head out to their buses and parents’ cars, knowing that Christmas is near, just lifts your spirit right along with them.

There’s no question this age provides some of the best memories on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, as well. From baking cookies for Santa, and putting out reindeer food, to watching the Norad Santa website on the computer or laptop, and keeping track of where he is at any given moment. Reading ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Polar Expressall this and more adds to the magic and lets you hear the bell ring once again.

One Christmas memory, for instance, that I recall vividly, happened when I tucked my son into bed on Christmas Eve; I said, let me look out the window and see if Santa is coming yet. And wouldn’t you know it; sure enough, there was a flashing red light high in the sky above the window. I hurried my son to get out of bed to see it and asked him what he thought it was. “It must be Rudolph’s nose!” he said with a jubilant grin on his face. So he quickly jumped back into bed, pulled up the covers tight, and when I went to hug him goodnight, he simply said, “Dad! I need to go to sleep in a hurry!” I said, “Oh, okay,” and I cut off the light so he could begin dreaming of Christmas morning right away. Thanks, PTI.

Children love these times, but they have no idea how much their joy and happiness mean to the parents themselves. I think the parents out there will agree with me that it’s the children that warm your heart during this time of year. They remind us what it was like to be young, full of hope, with their whole lives ahead of them, and all they’re interested in is what Santa will leave under the Christmas tree. And for a moment in time, we adults get to experience some of that joy with them and through them. That magic cannot be replaced; it only comes through the minds and spirit of the children.

So, to all the parents out there who have little ones, enjoy! And to those whose children have long since grown up, try to find the little ones around you during this time and absorb some of their holiday spirit. It no doubt makes the season complete.

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