Monday, December 12, 2011

Looking at Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

a guest post by Holly Jahangiri

Delicious Anticipation of a Miracle

December has arrived. The Advent calendar has been set up; each day, its doors and windows open, one by one, to reveal the story of Christmas – and a sweet treat to widen a child’s eyes. Streets are lit with the colors of Christmas – some designed to take an adult’s breath away with their magical elegance, others calculated to make children laugh and skip with anticipation. With a little luck, a crisp, clean snow crunches underfoot. Carols play everywhere – music you’ll never hear in March, or April.

The smell of cookies and gingerbread and peppermint is pervasive. Of course, there’s hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows to go with absolutely everything. The tree appears, one day – as if plunked down next to the hearth by early elves, sparkling with ornaments – each one unique, special, and laden with its own Christmas memories; twinkling lights; tinsel or angel hair, garlands of gold or hand-strung strands of popcorn and cranberries. It is truly magical.

The presents begin to appear, but it is not until Christmas morning that the full bounty is revealed. A peek at plate of cookie crumbs, half eaten carrots, and empty milk glass confirm it: Santa has been there with his team of reindeer.

As adults, we need to take a deep breath and smell the gingerbread – remember what really made Christmas special. It’s not all about the presents. It’s that special combination of anticipation and magic, wrapped in the once-a-year scent of evergreen and home-baked treats. Let’s not allow stress to rob us of that childlike wonder or hinder our efforts to share it with our kids.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Irma Style

During the virtual book tour to launch A Puppy, Not a Guppy, the book’s star human, Irma, made it clear that she was quite a character. Her “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a gentle jab at me, her author – but she insisted that I share it with you, again, here:

On the first day of Christmas my author gave to me
A tiny little kitty in a treeeeee!
On the second day of Christmas my author gave to me
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeee!
On the third day of Christmas my author gave to me
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the fourth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the fifth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the sixth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Six ballet lessons (yuck!),
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the seventh day of Christmas my author gave to me
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons (I’m a klutz),
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the eighth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Eight shortbread cookies,
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons (dorky!),
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the ninth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Nine night-night stories,
Eight shortbread cookies,
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons (why not tap?),
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the tenth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
Nine night-night stories,
Eight shortbread cookies,
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons (c’monnnn - violin?),
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the ‘leventh day of Christmas my author gave to me
Eleven candy canes,
Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
Nine night-night stories,
Eight shortbread cookies,
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons,
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!
On the twelth day of Christmas my author gave to me
Twelve GREAT BIG PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (right Miss Holly?)
Eleven candy canes,
Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
Nine night-night stories,
Eight shortbread cookies,
Seven guppies playing,
Six ballet lessons,
Five croaking frogs!
Four pairs of jeans,
Three dirty looks,
Two precious puppies,
And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

Kling, Glöckchen, Kling

My grandfather was from the tiny town of Tauberbischofsheim, Germany. Each Christmas, one thing I most looked forward to was singing along to an album of German Christmas songs. This was one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy it, too:

6 comments:

Holly Jahangiri said...

Merry Christmas, Viv, from all of us here to you and yours. Irma says she hopes you like her singing. (It really hasn't improved much over the last two years, but it's...HEARTFELT.)

4RV Publishing said...

Merry Christmas, Holly. Thanks for guest blogging today.

You can tell Irma that her singing is fun and joyful. The Bible says to make a joyful noise, not that we have to be on key.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Aw, I love Irma's song. Very nice post, Vivian. The Christmas season is so inspiring. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Thanks, Beverly. You know that Irma wants to be Just (like) Breeze when she grows up.

Merry Christmas!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Aw, Irma is a sweetheart. :)

Jovie Onyema said...

christmas is a beautiful time of giving and recieving. so much deeper is the spiritual meaning which most often gets left in the back for the nice gifts we recieve from parents and friends.