Yesterday when I picked up our granddaughter for our weekly ‘date’ after school, she was full of anticipation for Christmas. ‘It’s too early’ I said.
She disagreed and then told me that one of Santa’s elves had visited their house the night before and wrapped the living room pictures in Christmas paper with big red bows. He had mounted a wreath on their front door. Her manger scene and the attending figures were set out beside her bed. The elf had also left a note saying that he was visiting houses to remind good people that they should get ready for the holidays. She was trying to be good every day by controlling her temper.
As my granddaughter was having her snack at our house I was chastised for the centrepiece displaying fall gourds on the kitchen table. “Grandma, don’t you know that Halloween is over and so is our Thanksgiving?” She looked around and told me to get rid of the autumn coloured table-cloth and gold candles in the dining room. “You should be decorating with seasonal colours!” She suggested that I should buy “one of those plants with the big red flowers”.
I got told — in the nicest way — by a six-year-old to refresh things around the house.
These admonishments reminded me that part of celebrating any holiday or birthday is anticipation.
I remembered that it’s almost time for the season of Advent, a season of waiting and anticipation in Christian churches when virtues of hope, peace, joy, and love, are celebrated by lighting candles on the advent wreath. Although we no longer attend church, I decided that adding a degree of anticipation to the coming holiday season would add pleasure in this dark time of the year.
I’m not quite ready to buy one of the big red poinsettia plants as my granddaughter advised but I decided that I can begin making Christmas lists. I can get ahead of the rush and buy gift wrap, ribbon and tape, plan Christmas foods to prepare for the freezer, and schedule activities and events to host and/or attend.
I can also use this blog to chronicle my undertakings. Writing about Christmas preparations will further create holiday anticipation.
As for my granddaughter, I’m sure she will enjoy her weekly visits more when she can see evidence that Christmas preparations are underway. Anticipation heightens a child’s ability to predict events. When anticipation is at a high enough level, excitement is created. What more can be done to make a holiday meaningful for a child? What can bring more happiness to the heart of a loving grandmother?
Finally, before leaving, my granddaughter reminded me to be a good person and not have temper tantrums so that the elf would come to visit and begin Christmas decorating! What a wonderful reminder that grandmothers can have the magic of elves in their lives!
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