that's what it's all about

“I know what Christmas is REALLY all about.” my firstborn touts proudly while we are piled on the bed waiting for the pediatrician to call back.
“You do? What?”
(and I really think he does)
“Everyone being together he says with a proud grin.”

And I know exactly where he got the answer. In the corny Barbie Christmas special movie preview that we had just watched before the movie started.

“No Owen. It isn’t”
And his face falls and he looks so confused.
Because being together sounded like a really good answer.

“Giving!", he tries again.
And on Sunday when I picked him up from our version of kids church, he was one of the last kids there….b/c maybe I was chatting and lost track of time (surprise). And one of the volunteers ask if I am “Owen’s mom”. I say yes, and another woman rushes over. They both gush and tell me that they have to tell me what my kid did that day. One of them says he made her cry. I’m a little afraid of where this conversation might go. She says she made him get up on stage (and it is a big stage and a big crowd) and I finally think I know which way this is heading and asked if he had been dancing again. Because my kid has some moves and is not afraid to use them in public. She says no and keeps talking. She said they were talking about presents and what everyone wanted for Christmas…and my son says “that he really likes giving presents”. I laugh out loud and say she should see his wishlist! But she says no, that he said he liked giving presents more than getting them so they pulled him up on stage to say this and ask why. And he says because it makes people happy. This really means that he especially liked giving his first grade teacher that he is a little bit hot for flowers on Friday. But I am still pleased. And beam a little because I have been trying to teach my kids over and over that Christmas is not THEIR birthday after all.

But I still say “No. not giving”
Although it is really nice to give. And family is pretty important too.
And he sits there stumped for a minute. I resist the temptation to lecture or answer for him and a few long seconds later he says, “Oh yeah. It’s when Jesus was born”

And I think plenty of us can be talked in to really good reasons for this season.
Like family. And giving. And Christmas cards. And plays. And baking. And parties. And charity. And decorations. And cookies. And Justin Beiber’s version of Santa Claus is coming to town (one of Tess’s favorites).
And somewhere at the bottom of the list and busy and outings and wrapping paper
We say,
“Oh yeah. Jesus”

And I haven’t been the most productive girl this season. My Christmas cards haven’t been mailed. I haven’t wrapped a single present. My kids have seen the pediatrician more than they have Santa. We forgot the advent candle. I did make some sweets for the neighbors but I ate some of it for breakfast instead of delivering it. Our tree is up, but the lights never made it on the roof. We have run from party to recital to event. I am far from attempting the perfect season and all I really want for Christmas is a nap.

I am worn out and just see the list of things I should be doing replay in my head over and over. Wrapping, shopping, baking, mailing, cleaning, watching defensive driving (ok, not exactly Christmas-y but something I need to do) and maybe I have forgotten too.
And I sound just like my six year old after getting it wrong the first few tries.

“Oh yeah. Jesus”
My list can wait until at least New Years.
(which just might be when you get my Christmas card!)


Margie said...

"Oh yeah, Jesus." It reminds me of this line from an Innocence Mission song: "I touch the ticket half and put it on the table saying 'This is God, he's here through my comings, and my goings,' but I walk past the ticket half...just as I walk past the cross on the wall."

This is such a good post. "Oh yeah, Jesus," could be me, too. (And I loved that you refrained from lecturing Owen. I've had to bite my tongue a few times, as well.)

(I haven't forgotten I still owe you $15.)

milky said...

That is so peaceful. I would like to experience that state of mind.

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