Once upon a time, so very long ago three little girls found Santa left a show ….
Any of us who grew up in the 70’s remember a commercial telling us that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” … doesn’t mean we really thought about it, but we remembered it, just like those damn fried eggs basted in marijuana. Nevertheless, it isn’t the mind that is wasted anymore, it is the pure engine of imagination, which propels it into infinity and beyond…you know…the place we are allowed to get a “Buzz” on.
Christmas truly brings that to the forefront, and the recent resurgence of Elf on the Shelf has helped more than I had hoped. Regardless of the prop though, children need to be given the ability to look into their heart, and not just a video screen to see the movie only they can direct. Seriously, no matter how it is allowed… a little Santa does the heart and soul good.
Years ago I snuck home from work early, and laid out an imagination trail my daughters mentally followed for years, and I hope someday will recreate with their own children – much like the yarn web from the Easter Bunny, but heck that has time to be spilled. That particular Christmas, I left trails of pine needles, and spilled ingredients for cookies, flour coated footprints (loved full size baby dolls) and even put a lighted pine branch halfway up the chimney (thanks to a neighbor who bought a tree too tall for his house). I also celebrated who my daughters were that year.
When I brought them home, the first one noticed tiny footprints “walking” along the counter, and she knew they were also in the walls! Another saw the branch, becoming horrified that a tree was stuck in our chimney, probably because Santa had been in a rush. The last one, still so young she could only marvel at the fact there was real snow in the living room (had to work quickly on that one…God love a freezer that refused to defrost). That night they told stories, probably believing in most of them, all thinking Santa and the elves were in the house watching everything they said and did. Even though that was my job, I didn’t mind the demotion, because seeing the colors flow from their imaginations was a lesson in hope.
Time isn’t always kind, it gives us wrinkles and makes us forgetful, we have stress and anxiety and worst of all, doubt what we believe and what is right in front of us. Childhood is gone so quickly and even faster now with schedules, activities, video games, blogs and mini-beauty queens – please, don’t get me started on the violence and shattered youth on the nightly news. We just need to remember that simply because we know it is glass, doesn’t mean it isn’t a sparkle of fairy dust for an innocent, and hopeful eye.
The greatest gift as we are taught is Love, and seeing it through the imagination, joy and delight of a child disappears far too soon. Eye Spy with My Little Eye might find a color right under your nose, but even Horton knew there could be a Who there as well. So before the week begins, the ads will have thankfully stop running, too much money will have been spent and we look to getting back to the daily grind of living too fast, too hard and not enough, sit down in front of some lights and ask a child what they see. Then tell them what you see and share… I can almost bet you’ll remember the first Christmas when a gift came true, carrots left for Santa’s reindeer that were chomped and left on a plate, or even better, that first Christmas with the child you are sitting with.
Look in your heart and let the mind of a child tell you what they see, because it is the one thing you will mind having wasted as time moves on, because colors fade no matter how hard we try to stay in the lines, and Goggle will never get the image right, no matter how many search engines try.