Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting Back In Touch With Our Hidden Innocence

There's something about this time of year that can sometimes make me feel like I'm 5 years old again. Tonight, an Enya Christmas song called The Spirit of Christmas Past is doing the trick. But sometimes it is the Christmas trees, the wreaths, the strands of lights weaving around the trees Uptown here. And it's the music and the movies, like It's A Wonderful Life and Rudolph.

Somewhere underneath everything we've become in order to be grown-ups is that inner 5-year old, giddy on Christmas Eve with anticipation of Santa's arrival. We'll put out cookies and milk for Kris Kringle, and carrots for his reindeer. We'll have written him a couple weeks prior to tell him what gifts we want, and we'll line up to sit on his knee in the shopping mall. Even if our childhood was less than ideal, there is still that magical dreamer in us that loves this time of the year. And this time of the year it is allowed to come out. As we shop in bustling malls, as we actually smile and say "Hello" at the passerby on the street, as we belt out Hark The Herald Angels Sing at church.

It is that part of us that has been untouched by cynicism, anger or bitterness. It is the dreamer in us, and when we get in touch with it, it is as if we could sprout wings and fly as high as the Bethlehem angels.

Maybe this year we'll learn that we don't have to shove that 5-year old dreamer back inside our hearts once this festive season passes. Dreams, having a wonder-ing, awestruck heart are good things. Playfulness and broad smiles are things we never have to grow out of.

I hope that during this busy Christmastime, when that feeling of innocence and joy hits you, you will revel in it and give it plenty of breathing room. And that when this time of the year has passed, you will keep part of that with you all throughout the new year.


Mark Andrew