Sometimes, we say that “Christmas is for children.” That’s true, but only if we remember that this season’s story of divine surprise has the power to make all of us children again—to help us live in childlike openness and wonder.
Feel the wind in your hair. Notice how the air smells. Imagine what the birds soaring above you see. Touch the bark of a tree. Go up on a mountain and scream in anger or shout in praise, but don’t come down until you’ve poured it all out and left room for delight to live.
Take another route home. Start your grocery shopping on the other side of the store. Watch reruns of Andy Griffith. Zentangle. Read Dr. Seuss or, as I did yesterday morning, Winnie the Pooh. Zentangle. Let your imagination soar above the horizon of sameness.
Go to Paris (I can’t believe I’m headed there this afternoon, a bucket list pilgrimage!).
Sing just because you can. Laugh. Cry. Celebrate when you get the chance, and when you don’t find a reason, make one up.
Affirm, bless, and encourage someone else.
Befriend questions at least as much as answers, if not more so.
Ask someone what it’s like to be him or her. Listen.
Temper your strength with tenderness. Think of yourself as living on your knees—humble, ready to serve, and eye to eye with toddlers and puppies.
Let yourself be loved. Henri Nouwen wrote: “The little child has nothing to prove, nothing to show, nothing to be proud of. All the child needs to do is to receive the love that is offered. Jesus wants us to receive the love he offers. He wants nothing more than that we allow him to love us and enjoy that love.”
And, having been loved, to love.
Christmas is for you, child of God—for me, for all of us, and for everyone.