[Shared by Ruth and Rosie]
My children have chicken pox so I’m housebound at the moment, I don’t like the fact that they are ill but to be honest I’ve been glad of the rest from the daily trudge to school especially as the snow has fallen this week. I’m not able to get out to the shops while they are poorly and as a firm believer that preparations for Christmas should begin during advent I have yet to buy a single Christmas present. This year will be our first Christmas with Rosie, it’s a very special time and one that we are thankful for and somehow I want Christmas to be simpler this year, less fussy and less materialistic somehow.
When my 4 year old is asked what she wants for Christmas her answer is either a torch or bubbles depending on how she is feeling at the time and many people are shocked at the answer, surely she must want ‘something’ I love the innocence in her little face it is a reminder to me and so many who strive to make Christmas happy by going beserk in the shops. Do we teach our children to be greedy by showering them with expensive gifts thinking that it somehow replaces our need to love them unconditionally and spend time with them, I don’t know? I’m not saying that our children do not have nice things they will no doubt be showered with generous gifts from Grandparents and family and friends but I hope this year to teach them something of the story and true meaning of Christmas that is so much more meaningful.
I believe that traditions are important for children, (and adults,) they provide a marker along life’s super highway, they are often times when we stop and think, times when we pause a moment and spend time with people we love, times where memories are made. Looking back to when I was a child, I honestly cannot remember ALL the presents I got each year, I can remember some, but I do remember being at my Grandparents house with the open fire lit with my family, I can still smell that fire when I think about it. I still remember the family tradition of going to Delamere Forest to choose a tree and again the memory is strong, I can smell that piney tree smell and even taste the burning hot soup we sometimes had afterwards to warm up, (it was gross by the way.) They are the type of memories that are not made from money but through time, through love and through family. They are the type of memories I want to create for my children so that as they grow older they have a bank of happy memories and loving times to use as a bunker when the world gets tough.
As a Christian I believe that Christmas is about the story of a baby who came to earth to be the face of God, born to a humble and ultimately suffering life. This child changed the life of so many and his legacy has lasted for over two thousand years. The messages of peace, of hope and of joy are the things that I want to help my children to understand and recreate, goodwill to all men and yes gifts are part of the Christmas story too, there will of course be presents but hopefully not at the cost of making memories, being family and sharing love.