Last night we brought out the Christmas decorations. Jackson has been begging for almost two weeks for us to put them up. He keeps insisting that Christmas is almost here (and then asking how many more days until Christmas.)
As we listened to a kids choir singing carols and pulled out the different ornaments, Jackson danced and jumped around the room, singing and basically acting like a crazed – but happy – little monkey.
When I handed him his nativity set that his Sunday School teachers gave him when he was three, he clutched his heart and exclaimed, “Oh… all the little parts of Christmas … all the things I remember!”
Watching him revel in details of his Christmas experience reminds me how important these times are. This is his time – his childhood. He only has a few years at this innocent age. Each Christmas is a precious season that we won’t get to repeat. The little flashes of memories – a special ornament he hangs, a carol he loves, a candy melting in his mouth – whatever those flashes are that he will carry for the rest of his life, he is forming them now.
My sensitive, almost-six-year-old will remember if his home felt warm and happy at Christmas time. He will remember if he felt loved and peaceful and excited.
As his Christmases blur together, I want my son to be left with a sensation that Christmas was a beautiful time in his childhood. I don’t want him to remember a mother who was too busy to put up the Christmas decorations on time or a household that was full of stress or bickering. I want the flashes of memories to be good things that he replays over and over in his mind as he grows. I want him to always feel like clutching his heart and happily remembering “all the little parts of Christmas.”