Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Magic of Pretend...A Christmas Story

Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year! We look forward in unabashed excitement and glee to the celebration of love and joy that is Christmas. We know that the real reason for the season is of course...the Holy Birth of Jesus and many little kids learn the song "Happy Birthday Jesus" in Christian schools and in Sunday School. But there is a commercial side to the holiday season that has a very strong pull to even the staunchiest Christian. We like that part too, and we throw ourselves into the planning, the decorating, the shopping and the best part...the cooking and eating with a gladness that is unmatched any other season of the year(with the exception perhaps of summer vacation).

What really makes this time of the year so bright and jolly is the contagious excitement we see in our grandchildren. Oh boy; do they get extra spoiled at Christmas! Parents may ask us to "cut back" some on toys (my own son informed me lovingly of course; that any toys Santa may put under their tree from me had to be subsequently transferred to my house) and believe me that is not a problem. We may have a tendency to give more than we should but isn't that a part of living up to the "Grand" in Grandmother?

Children who still believe in Santa have an innocence about them that is so precious. I'm a really big kid and I do believe! I do I do believe! Kids can talk to Santa at the mall, write him letters to drop off in his special mailbox, and actually believe that their wishes will come true and all of the toys and gifts they asked for will magically appear under the tree on the grand Christmas morning. So we pretend there is a holly jolly fat guy in a red and white suit who comes down the chimney or through the back door left open just for him with a giant bag of toys. Some are hoping to get their bills paid; to keep their utilities and their cable on.

We pretend that he ate the ham sandwich and the slice of chocolate cake left on the kitchen counter. And in the midst of this pretense we feel a magical pull that we might find very hard to deny or to resist, because we are looking for something to believe in.We desperately want to believe that one day there will be peace on earth, and that world hunger will be eliminated, poverty will cease and cures will be found for diseases and sicknesses. The wonder of Christmas and what it puts into our hearts and minds make it possible to believe these things will come to pass as long as we BELIEVE!

Believing requires faith, and faith requires belief. So for a few weeks each year we engage ourselves in this magic and we sprinkle stardust over our lives, we put paid to animosity and strife and sing"Joy to the World", Silent Night","Silver Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and all is well with the universe. What would truly magical is if we would keep this mindset the whole year through and if every one of us would not be content to just sit by and watch, but to become actively involved in our communities to bring about peace and prosperity. We don't know the strength of our own abilities to bring about change, and then maybe...just maybe...the magic of pretend can become the magic of reality.

Merry Christmas !
The Real Grandmothers of Charlotte

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