Sometimes it takes the wisdom of a 2 year old to remind us of what Christmas and life are all about. It was the day after Christmas 19 years ago. I was a struggling substitute teacher who had barely earned enough to pay the rent and electric bills for our tiny apartment that month. The only gifts my wife and I could afford for our children were a few stuffed animals.
I put my kids to bed that night and wearily walked back into the living room. I was sad about not being able to give them a better Christmas. Suddenly, I heard a giggle. I walked back into their bedroom and my foot stepped on one of those stuffed animals. A second giggle came from within the big cardboard box that held their toys. I peeked over the top of it. My 2 year old daughter had dragged her 5 year old brother into the box to hide from Daddy. I gently stepped over the toys they had emptied out to make room for themselves, leaned down and tickled my little girl. She squealed with delight and wrapped her arms around my neck. I smiled and gave her a big kiss on the cheek. I hugged her and her brother then put them back to bed. Gazing down at them I realized that Love was the only Christmas gift we needed.
Looking back on that time reminds me of what Christmas is all about. It isn’t about how expensive the gifts we give and receive are. It is rather about the birth of another special child some two thousand years ago. This child would grow up to teach us all how to love each other. He would give us all so much joy. He would show us all how to face the trials of this life with faith and hope while preparing our souls for the greater life to come.
May we all embrace the wisdom of this special child. May we all fill this Christmas with hugs, kisses, laughter, and joy. And may we all spend all of our days here on Earth sharing God’s greatest gift: Love!