"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Listen for Christmas

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
(a 7 year old answering the question, 'What is love?')

This quote has been my favorite Christmas quote for many years now. My love for it originated several years ago when our finances were in dire straights. My husband had been unemployed for many months and we were trying to support our family of 6 off of a meager unemployment check. We received food from our church that December so that we could spare $100 to spend on gifts for our 4 children for Christmas. It was very difficult to meet all the expectations of the family traditions we observe (pajamas on Christmas Eve, stockings, gifts, etc.) with $25 per child, but with the help of the dollar store, we pulled something off. It wasn’t much, but it was the best we could do.

I was a basket case all month long as I collected small gifts for them. They had never experienced such a meager Christmas! I was afraid they would feel less loved and cry for the things they wanted but would not be receiving.

But to my great surprise, it was the BEST Christmas we ever had! I will never forget how I reflected on this quote and stopped to listen as my children opened and adored their tiny gifts on Christmas morning. How could I ever have been afraid my children would feel LESS love? The love in the room was so thick, it was almost tangible! It brought tears to my eyes; a fact which was shamelessly recorded for posterity by the video camera on a tripod in the corner. It was the only gift I received that year, but it was by far my most favorite of any I ever received.

Every year since, as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are done, I start thinking of this beautiful quote and the love I felt in the room on that humble Christmas morning.  

THAT is what Christmas is all about; not the quality or quantity of the gifts given or received. Christmas is a celebration of the Love that was born in a humble stable that blessed and changed the whole world forever after.

Celebrate Christmas by stopping to listen for it in your room this year…

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the quote and the reminder, Melissa. I've been really struggling with the tug of the Christmas season. I'm always in the mood to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth, life, and eternal glory, so this will help me to listen closer for the Christmas Love in the room. Thanks for helping a "derailed" gal get back on the gratitude "track"