By Christina VanGinkel
My grandson, bless his heart, has grasped the 'true meaning' of Christmas, that is what is true to a two year old, and to anyone who is brave enough no matter their age, that wants to see beyond the glitz of yet one more gaily wrapped package!
His mother, (my daughter) had phoned me yesterday with a few questions about what I had bought for this family member and that, and if there was anything I wanted her to look for while she was still out of town and had access to several stores that are not anywhere in the vicinity of where we live. We talked for some time, and as usual at the end of any long conversation we have, she asked him if he would like to talk to Nana before she hung up, and he firmly replied 'No!' This is odd in itself, so she asked him why not. He went on to change his mind and replied 'Yes, I want to talk to Nana, I got to tell her something.'
Well, the first thing I said to him when he was on the phone with me was if he had been being good, as Santa was going to be bringing him gifts before to long. I had been asking him this for some time, and I now wonder if it had been upsetting him. Thus, the reason he did not want to talk to me, until he remembered that this time he had an honest answer to my question. He replied with the heart of a two year old that I love beyond words, that yes, he had been good, and wanted me to guess what he was bringing Nana. He went on to tell me that I had been a good girl and he was bringing me himself! I laughed so hard I nearly cried at the sweet meaning he had given to all this talk we grownups had been discussing over this all-important holiday, which we had all wrapped up with the silly idea of giving each other gifts. He had found the perfect gift that he could give. One that touched more on the true meaning behind this holiday than we grownups had awarded it in sometime. He had reminded us that family togetherness is a big part of the true meaning of Christmas.
No matter how many gifts I have wrapped up beneath my tree, no matter how many fancy dishes I make to eat, or how many holiday shows I watch on the television or go to the theater to see, it all means very little in the end unless I have someone to share it. If you find yourself going overboard this holiday season, try to see it all through the eyes of a toddler. Sitting in a chair reading a book to that child will likely mean much more to them than a slew of wrapped toys beneath the tree. If you have an elderly relative, or know of a shut in, go ahead and bring them a basket of fruit, but also an invitation complete with transportation to come out for the day to share a meal. Take a lesson from a two-year-old, and try to remember that without friends and family, the holidays, and all of their glittery wonder may be pretty... pretty boring that is!