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In fact, this column is one of the chapters from the book. ENJOY!
Excerpt from *Miracle on 31st Street:*
Christmas Cheer Every Day of the Year -- Grinch to gratitude
in 26 Days!
By Susan Sparks © 2020
If you ever want to get into the Christmas spirit fast, go to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Spectacular. They have The Nutcracker, dancing Santas, reindeer, and, of course, the famous Rockette dancers. But the thing that generates the most fun, at least for me, is watching the kids.
The last time I went, I was sitting near a little boy who was about five years old and there with his Dad. With every new thing that happened in the show, the little boy’s eyes got huge, and he exclaimed, “Whoa.”
A reindeer walked across stage. WHOA!
A Christmas tree started talking. WHOA!
The baby Jesus appeared in a manger with a giant star overhead. WHOA!
I was already excited enough, but to see the show through his eyes took it to a whole new level.
But then, there was his dad. While his young son was basking in what he saw as an avalanche of miracles, his dad was texting on a smartphone, uttering an occasional “Um-hum” or “Yeah, I see it.” He missed the entire show.
What a sad example of how we adults come at the world, especially during the holiday season. We haul a heavy load of holiday stress. We hand-wring over worries about money, gifts, and who’s coming to dinner. We carry the baggage of fear, judgment, and doubt—all things that block our ability to see the miracles of the season that are all around us. We lose that ability to look at the world like a little kid looks at Santa.
Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who, after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, gave a last lecture that went viral on YouTube. He framed the question in terms of characters from Winnie the Pooh. You may recall two of the characters: Tigger, the playful, positive, fun-loving tiger, and Eeyore, the pessimistic, negative, sad little donkey. Dr. Pausch said, “You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore. . . . Never lose the childlike wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us.”
Life is full of possibility. It’s full of wonder and miracles, but we, in our doubt and cynicism, miss it. We live in a world where we think we have all the answers. We can split an atom, send a spacecraft to Mars, clone a sheep—what miracles are left?
There is at least one miracle left, and it’s coming soon. In a short time, we will celebrate the gift of a tiny baby wrapped up and lying in a manger, a baby who ushers in a new world full of hope, love, and possibility rather than one of fear, doubt, or judgment. A world that we should all look upon with awe, a world that should make us all exclaim WHOA!
When you get a chance, stop your busy life for a minute or two, and watch some little kids. Maybe it’s on the commute home or on the bus, at work, or while shopping. Find some little kids and watch their excitement and delight over the tiniest of things.
Then think about that little boy in the Christmas show. Let us not be like his father, oblivious to the miracles all around. Instead, let us see anew the Kingdom of God as it was meant to be seen—as a miracle, all around us, every day.
Reposted from Susan's newsletter, Shiny Side Up! To connect with Susan, click here.
Looking for more joy? Try my newest award-winning book of Advent meditations. Go from Grinch to gratitude with “Miracle on 31st Street: Christmas Cheer Every Day of the Year – Grinch to Gratitude in 26 Days!”