There's nothing like December when you are a child. The Christmas tree, first snow, Rudolph and Frosty on television, cut-out cookies with sprinkles, letters to Santa, and excited feelings of the last days in school before vacation are all part of the magical anticipation of the holiday season that is so special to children. No matter how old we are we can remember how this felt so many years ago, especially when we hear favorite classics on the radio or see the enthusiasm in today's children regardless of whether they are our own or just seen out and about in a store or other setting. Today, on the eve of Christmas Eve, some local young writers give some insight into their feelings during this specific time of year.
"The Grinch with his 'too tight shoes' should be the only person who hates Christmas," is the personal opinion of one 10 year-old. He states that, "I look forward to Christmas every year to smell my mom's freshly baked cookies and the new ornament I get every year from my grandparents. This year, even though there has been barely any snow, I still listen to the song called, 'White Christmas' because of its Christmas spirit. It brings cheerfulness and makes me think of the presents that lie unopened until Dec. 25. Christmas is about gifts and fun, but it also has much religious meaning. To me as a Christian, it is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Holy Savior."
Cookies continue to be an old-time tradition carried on in contemporary times. Another local youth writes, "Mmm! What is the delicious scent coming from the kitchen? Why, it's cookies of course. We make gingerbread men, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies at my grandma's house. When the cookies are done, we put them on a plate with milk for Santa."
A young local artist illustrates the joy of Christmas Day.
One girl mentions cookies as well, sharing that, "There's nothing better than snuggling up with family and eating scrumptious cookies by the warm fireplace. The scent of them makes me hungry and my stomach grumble." This tradition is prefaced with, "Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king. This favorite Christmas carol is my favorite because it makes me get in the Christmas spirit."
Succinctly said by yet another youngster, "Yum, yum, crunch, crunch. The cookies are delicious!" Reindeer treats are also mentioned by young writers, including putting out seed and celery.
Whatever the traditions, children seem to know intrinsically that what makes Christmas special is time with family: "No matter how many things my family and I get, we never forget what Christmas is about. It is a time I think about the family that I have."
Most also mention special dinners with grandparents or cousins complete with "ham, corn, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy." Part of the family fun is also decorating the tree while listening to music and according to one girl, "We put Jesus on top of the family tree instead of a star. We decorate our house with a whole bunch of lights including an angel for heaven." Along with setting up a manger and hanging stockings from the oldest to youngest, yet another writer said, "We also set up a manger with Mary, Joseph, angels, animals, shepherds, the three wise men, and of course, Baby Jesus. Every Christmas morning we wait on the staircase (where we can see the presents) for Mom and Dad to get out of bed and brush their teeth. Then we all go downstairs and grab all the presents from under the beautiful smelling pine tree and take them into the living room. I sit by the fireplace, my sister sits near the couch, and my brother sits near the television where we all open our presents."
What would Christmas be without Christmas carols? Creatively said by one boy, "Caroling is 'Joy to the World' for some people. Your favorites might be different from other carolers. Maybe you're a 'Holly Jolly Christmas' like me. The 'Most Wonderful Time of the Year' is to carol until your fingers turn to ice-pops and your breath turns to fog in the night. Don't you wish you could cheer up the elderly? Well, raise your voices loud and strong and make them feel happy." Yet another enthusiastic lad wrote, "I like to sing carols because I really like to sing, more than you even know."
So what does Christmas mean to so many children? As one boy shares, "It is my favorite holiday of the whole entire year of all the 12 months." Most wish it to never end and as far as Santa, "If people think Santa is not real, they do not have any spirit, and Santa might give him or her a bag of coal." To sum it all up, "It is impossible to be unhappy, unless you're Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch, of course." Make it a good week and Merry Christmas.
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