When I was a youngster my mother used to ask me what I wanted for Christmas. Like any other child, I had a list of things I wanted her to buy me from the store. Mama didn’t believe in Santa, so she didn’t force the “Santa complex” on her children. I didn’t always get what I wanted, mama was a struggling single parent, but she usually made the holiday fun for us. After I grew up, and had a family of my own, I followed my mother’s traditions…with one exception. I have two sons I raised in a unique blended family format. What that means is I shared them, generously, with their fathers. I never encouraged my children to believe in Santa. I showed them the realities of life, and the struggle of single parenthood. They knew I was the one who worked, and hustled, to get the gifts they wanted. The one thing I did differently, from my mother, was teach them the meaning of Christmas empowering them to have a special wish.
Even though I didn’t tell them about Santa, they had heard about him from friends, teachers, and television. I allowed them to have the hope, love, and the magic of Santa as much as they desired. On Christmas Eve we sat in front of our decorated tree, and read about the birth of Jesus in the bible. My sons asked about the guiding star, the unique presents given to Jesus by the wise men, and how the birth of this special child brought hope to all of mankind. At the end of the night I asked them what their Christmas wish was. Sometimes they would wish for specific electronic toys, a sleepover with their friends, or special privileges. Other times they would beg to be allowed to open their toys a day early.
Today my children are grown men. My eldest son has five children. While my grandchildren believe in Santa, they are treated with the tradition their grandmother shared with their father so long ago. They know the manger story of the Birth and blessing of Jesus. When I ask them what their Christmas wishes are, they respond the same as their father had when he was a child. Their wishes make my heart smile. When I ask my sons what their wishes are as adults, they tell me they want a better understanding of adulthood. All I could think is, WOW…a better understanding of adulthood. How’s that for wishing?
As a mother, I can honestly say that my biggest Christmas wish has been granted. I always wanted happy, healthy, and loving children. I have been blessed with that. Now that I am more mature my wish is simple, but complicated. I wish for PEACE. I want peace of mind, peace of spirit, peace of strength, and peace for others. There is a song that asks for peace on Earth with a subtext of letting it begin with me. I know I am the key to the peace I want to see, and experience. I strive to be the peace I need. My Christmas wish is to succeed in that Peace. Merry Christmas…Happy Holidays!
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