Christmas Hub-Bub… what’s it all about?

Posted: December 4, 2013 in The Human Side
Tags: , ,

12-4-2013 12-03-28 AM

A friend of mine recently told me that they don’t get what all the Christmas “hub-bub” is about.  This was a brief conversation as it took place on Facebook and not in real life where I could ask questions and truly debate the subject.

I got to thinking.. to me, it’s plainly obvious.  But then again, I know how I was raised and I can’t speak for my friend as we didn’t know each other as kids.  I don’t believe that I can write a tome about the wonders of Christmas hub-bub (I am most certainly not qualified).  I don’t believe for a second that I am the authority on the subject.  However, if my friend is sincere and really wants to understand.. I will take a stab at it with a few examples and then maybe add to it over the next couple of weeks.

Maybe others are not quite sure themselves or maybe they just need a reminder.

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As a kid, I recall the months leading up to Christmas where I would look at the JC Penny or Sears catalog and circle all the cool things I wanted for Christmas, with the stark expectation that I would get most of them.

I can also recall the anticipation of time off from school and family parties and Christmas lights..etc.  I have vivid memories of waking up early, peeking downstairs and seeing all the presents under the tree and then hauling ass back upstairs to wake up mom and dad so we could get to work!

Those.. were some of my childhood memories.

I must admit that as I got older the luster of Christmas (talking strictly of the commercial side now) had worn off a bit.  Getting gifts did not have the same allure because I became distinctly aware of Santa’s more complex relationship with adults.  For me, giving that well thought out gift for that special person was more rewarding then getting a gift myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the Holiday season and looked forward too it.. getting a tree and seeing the lights and even hearing Christmas music still brought warmth to an aging soul.  But,  for the most part I realized that the real wonder of Christmas was for the kids.

It wasn’t until my wife and I had children of our own that the spirit of Christmas began to spark again for me.  Seeing the season through the eyes of a child is truly a wondrous thing to experience and I highly recommend it to anyone willing to partake.

Now keep in mind, my kids are young.. my oldest is not even into double digits.. so my kids are still experiencing things for the first time and then re-learning them with each new year.  I am sure I can re-write this piece over and over in the years to come and continue to add new stuff.  But every parent will be able to relate to at least one of the things I will describe next.

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12-4-2013 12-25-41 AM

First, do not.. I repeat do NOT underestimate the power of guilt during the month of December (and sometimes November if you start early).  Kids at a very early age will learn to appreciate the threat of coal vs gifts for being good.  It seems almost comical that this works year after year even though no coal is ever actually received (at least not as the ONLY gift).  For whatever reason, it works and I have fun with it.  In my house we don’t threaten to tell Santa himself.. I have my kids believing that I have a direct line to Santa’s Elf Director – Milton.  I even have his number programmed into my phone and will make phone calls when the circumstance calls for it.  It’s so much fun and it keeps me sharp for my day job, because dealing with adults is often times not much different.

12-4-2013 12-19-33 AM

Second, getting a tree.. truly one of the most amazing and fun experiences for me as a Dad.  We don’t just go to a tree stand and buy one.  My family and I head out to a local tree farm and we cut our own.  Every year, on the coldest day of December (it just seems to work out this way) we head out to the farm.  We jump into a horse or tractor drawn wagon and trek out to the field of trees.  We have done this with a baby wrapped up in a baby Bjorn, we have done this with one barely walking AND a baby in a Bjorn and we have now done it with three kids of various stages of clumsy abilities.

The search for the perfect tree is sometimes more arduous than fun.  My wife is very picky as to what her vision of perfect is.  Like any good husband I know better than to have an opinion so I just follow like a zombie until we find said perfection.  Many times, it’s at the farthest reaches of the field ..but hey, it’s Christmas!  I may bitch about it a little bit, but don’t tell my wife.. I still love it!

In all seriousness though, it has been well worth it.. we head back to the Tree HQ and get a cup of hot chocolate or cider while we wait for the tree to be bound.  The place we go to has farm animals the kids can go see and a great gift shop.  The upstairs has a beautiful train set all done up nice and my sons can sit there and gawk forever if you let them.

child-praying

Finally, I’d like to share a slightly more personal experience that just happened this year.  My wife has been doing a fantastic job of bringing Christ back into Christmas in our home.  Two of my kids are at an age now where they can appreciate Jesus’ birthday and what it means to celebrate this beautiful time as a Christian.  Unbeknownst to me, my family had decorated an advent calendar.  Each day in December has a little drawer and in each drawer is a single piece of paper.  Not a treat or a toy.. a piece of paper.  On this paper is a name.. and that person is the lucky one that gets an extra prayer said for them that night.

Just the other night, we said our bedtime prayers and one of my kids pulls out the name for that day. The name he pulled was “Max”.  Max is the name of our second born son whom is no longer with us.  We pray for him and his twin brother every night but that night he got an extra prayer.

Another nightly tradition for us is to ask each of our kids what was the best part of their day.  My youngest (2 years old) said what he’s been saying  every night for the past week or so … “Mom mom and Pop pop coming…”  Keep in mind, they have been with us since mid-November.. but hey, he’s 2 and loves his grandparents..

My oldest wasn’t sure.. “School I guess” was her answer..

Then we turn to my middle boy.. and we were truly surprised by his answer.  Keep in mind, this little dude is only 4 years old.  Not old enough to be a kiss ass and say the “right thing” looking for praise.  He says, “When we said the extra prayer for Max”.

This is truly a beautiful thing.  He never knew his twin brothers.  Only my wife and I had enough time to bond with them and that was for a very short time.  They only know that they have two little angels that watch over them every day.  It truly amazed me that this little boy had a well thought out and very sincere answer to a question that he could have answered a thousand other ways.

To me.. this is an absolutely perfect example of what the Christmas hub-bub is about.  Without Christmas and without my wife and I trying to build traditions for the holiday that will last a lifetime, there would be no extra prayer that night and there would be no reason for our son to touch our hearts the way he did.

Merry Christmas

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