Two or three weeks ago I was paging through some of my Christmas photos from last year to write some posts that have been on my to write list but that I haven’t written yet. I wrote a quick tutorial on how we made our strawberry walnut ornaments, how we took a couple of days to play with the David and Goliath story, and about a little boredom busting with some magic milk. However, I found one photo in my collection that was really my favorite and spoke to me about the spirit and meaning of Christmas.
I know it’s hard for you to tell what’s happening from this photo, so I’ll fill you in. Rose had drew her grandmother a drawing of all the characters of the Wizard of Oz, and she was so very proud of it. It was one of her best drawings yet. It was actually inspired, by all things, of McDonald’s having Wizard of Oz toys last fall. The Wizard of Oz is one of my Mom’s favorite movies, so she taught the children about all the characters as they bought McDonald’s happy meals to try and collect them all last fall!
This led to us watching the movie and a lot of free play and drawings from the Wizard of Oz. I was going to follow up by strewing the book across Rose’s path, but I just have dropped the ball on that.
At any rate, this is Rose’s fully drawn and labeled characters from The Wizard of Oz drawing. She was so proud of it and so excited about it that I told her we’d frame it and she could give it as a Christmas present to her Nana.
What I didn’t account for was the excitement she would have about it. Rose was so excited to have something special and something of value that she had made for her Nana for Christmas that instead of focusing on what she was going to get last year, she was totally focused on what she was going to give. She was so excited that she was counting down the days until she got to give Nana her present instead of the days until Santa was going to come.
In fact, as soon as it was time to open presents with Nana and Grandad on Christmas Eve, instead of checking out her own presents under the tree, Rose joyfully ran to get her present for her Nana and gave it to her before she could do anything else. I guess I didn’t realize until that moment how perfectly the spirit of giving could be exemplified in a child (or anyone else for that matter).
For me, now when I look at the picture, I realize that Rose has also given me a precious gift. She gave me the ability to remember how deeply unselfish and loving people can be. She reminded me that when you’ve worked hard on creating the perfect gift, there is joy in the giving. She also reminded me that the focus of Christmas is on other people, just as Christmas is ultimately the celebration of the gift that God gave to us.