Don’t let Christmas become a runaway train

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 24, 2021

It’s Christmas morning!  Wow!  So, the kids have rousted you out of bed and they are bubbling with excitement and anticipation as you stumble to the kitchen to get that first cup of coffee.  All the while, they are circling the tree looking for signs of THE gift they have been waiting for.  They are jabbering about how hard it was to go to sleep last night and asking a million questions—when are we gonna open some presents?  And the little ones might be asking whether you got a glimpse of Santa or his reindeer.  Our crazy weather pattern lately has provided us with the need to run the air conditioning instead of the fireplace.  There has been no snow to check to see if there are deer tracks.  However, the carrots left alongside the cookies are gone, so that’s a good indicator that Santa must have swung by during the night.  

Last night’s reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas set the expectation that everyone should be asleep when jolly old Saint Nicholas visits.  He has lots to do and must use his magic to accomplish his mission.  He had to fill all the stockings and one wonders how things have changed over the last few generations with regard to stocking content.  The stockings used to contain some fruit, an orange perhaps, nuts, and candy, and maybe pencils or crayons.  These days, the stockings often hold some major swag.  Think electronic devices, expensive jewelry, gift cards, concert tickets, and more.  

At our house, the stockings are the last to get any attention.  Maybe because the kiddos know that’s where the proof set of coins and the American Eagle one-ounce silver proof coin resides.  And that’s less exciting then say concert tickets or a wad of cash.  

Often our boys did not find THE gift they had requested but found a different item that was even more pleasing.  It was their own “Elf” Father who realized that the substitution would be better and more enjoyable.  And the boys were incredibly happy and never gave the original desired toy/item a second thought.  Such is life.  We have this idealistic view of what we think we need to make us happy, to satisfy some longing within us.  When in reality, it’s much simpler than that.  

So, what is on the adult wish list for Christmas?  Well, let’s see.  There’s the all-time favorite device charger or a portable Wi-Fi Smartspot, both practical and useful.  Or perhaps you want a cordless, compact vacuum.  Again, practical and useful.  Then, a professional grade blender for those smoothies might be on your list.  

As the time draws near when everyone assembles around the tree and the big reveal begins, there’s much hope for that special gift to materialize restoring faith in Santa’s mystical powers. Will all our wishes come true?  If you believe that Santa is love and magic, then your Christmas wish will be fulfilled.  

May the miracle of Christmas fill your home and heart with joy!  May you find comfort when there are difficult days—and there will be difficult days.  May your faith sustain you and be strengthened when these times come.  Christmas gives us the occasion to pause and reflect on the important things around us.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity.  And I hope your stocking is filled with all things meaningful and special to you.  Merry Christmas!

Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at bbrown@olemiss.edu