“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet”
Those are a few of the lyrics that my daughter has been singing this Christmas season. Although I am impressed by her ability to remember the lyrics and tune of this and a couple of other Christmas classics, I am most impressed by the way she has taken these particular lyrics to heart.
Everywhere we go, she is wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone she meets. She spends a lot of time chatting with the Salvation Army bell ringers as she puts a dollar or a few coins in the bucket. She makes extra sure to say Merry Christmas to the hosts and hostesses at every restaurant where we eat. She has even drawn a candy cane for a server and presented it to her with a “Merry Christmas, I love you”.
According to the server it brought a smile to her face and a chuckle to her lips and made her day waiting tables a little more enjoyable (or a little less tiresome).
My daughter has rubbed off on me. I had quite the conversation going with the bell ringers at Sears the other night, and even on the occasions when I don’t drop a few dollars in the bucket, I make sure to say “Merry Christmas”. I have said “Merry Christmas” and smiled at strangers in the checkout aisle to receive a surprised smile and “Merry Christmas” stuttered back at me. It’s fun.
There is magic in this Christmas season for me. Seeing Christmas through the eyes of the child changes everything, as I wrote last week. Her big saucer-wide eyes exude a contagious excitement. But even more so than that, she is rubbing off on me. Watching her say hello to everyone she meets, watching her run up to a school friend and give him a big friendly hug, have worn through the adult armor that has kept the season and awe at a safe distance for so many years.
I now speak to strangers. I wish people a Merry Christmas. I look the cashier in the eye and sincerely wish her a good evening. And like my daughter, I express genuine frustration when my greetings and wishes are not returned. My daughter doesn’t understand why adults are so closed off. And she’s right to question our behavior.
So this is my wish for you this Christmas:
Be wide-eyed, open to the awe of the hushed snow.
Say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.
And have a holly jolly Christmas.
© 2011 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.