if you clicked on this space looking for spiritual enrichment, allow me to lovingly and gently advise you to click someplace else. this post is more for me than for you. sorry. merry christmas.
when i became a grandfather i promised not to bore you, faithful reader, with sappy stories. like you, i have endured countless meetings where the speaker is an oblivious grandfather who thinks his is the cutest, most gifted grandchild on the planet. brutal! i hereby stipulate to the fact that all grandchildren are unique and special. that being said…
this christmas was easily the best ever because of emma, my 2-year old granddaughter (adorable picture at right). my son and daughter-in-law arrived mid-morning on christmas day, and i was kinda’ surprised that emma was not immediately drawn to the gifts under the tree. instead, she wanted to tell us about the things she had already opened, and she proceeded to do so with wide-eyed breathlessness. i tried to engage her: “look, baby, there are lots more presents to open!”
it was then that a valuable lesson began to dawn on me.
children don’t need things as much as we need them to need things. i wanted to experience emma’s joy as she opened a gift i had purchased for her, but she was finding ample joy in being with me. i wanted emma to find delight in a bauble, and all the while she was delighted just to be in my lap. why do we (adults) make christmas so complicated?
and here is the ultimate irony…
every time emma opened a gift, she started doing what any child would do–she started enjoying her new gift. i couldn’t believe it when i heard myself saying, “no, emma, stop playing with that…open this. stop having fun…get back to work opening presents.”