Friday, 23 November 2012
Sometimes in the busyness of life, it's easy to become blinkered and so focused on getting to the next thing or getting through the day, that you forget to sit back, take stock and appreciate what is actually going on around you and how simplistic life can be.
With two kids going to school and after school activities in two different towns, the kids and I spend a LOT of time in the car driving from place to place between 3pm and 6pm. Often this is quite stressful, especially if there is a lot of traffic to negotiate and so I am so worried about getting to places on time, I rarely even notice the scenery we are passing. Darkness has descended upon us earlier and earlier over the last couple of weeks. This week, in our local area that many places - both commercial and residential have begun to put their Christmas lights up. On our familiar routes, an array of coloured lights in various different formations are now brightening up the dark nights.
Many adults (myself included) take them as a foreboding sign that Christmas is descending upon us, or begrudge their presence before the beginning of December. Indeed, hubby and I were aghast that one of the local houses had gone the whole hog by the second week of November!
It seems that recently, youngest (aged 3) has really begun to notice what is going on around her and can now recognise the familiar routes we take and where we are on them. This week as we were passing a parade of local shops, there were suddenly screams coming from the back of the car:
Mummy!!! Lights!!! LIGHHHTTSSS!! LOOOK!! WOW!!!! They are so pretty!!!
Youngest was completely overawed by the new presence of these lights and they were all she talked about when we got to our destination, and for the rest of the evening. Over the last few days, the glimpse of any Christmas lights has sent her into such a frenzy and has made her beside herself with excitement.
The wonderment of a child at such simple things never fails to amaze me. When I am in the car driving on my own, I barely even notice these lights. Sometimes, it takes a child to make you look around and appreciate how bright and colourful the world can be, and how joy can be found in the simplest of things.
This Christmas, hubby and I have been bemoaning having to buy presents for the kids to fill their already overflowing rooms with more toys, whilst also worrying that we don't want the kids to feel hard done by on Christmas day. Sometimes the wonderment of a child reminds you that in years to come, it won't necessarily be the mountain of presents that kids remember about Christmas - it could be something as simple as seeing the Christmas lights for the first time that year.
This Christmas, rather than going to the panto, paying for a ridiculously over priced grotto visit, selling our souls to Lapland UK or taking out a 2nd mortgage to pay for the kids presents, Hubby and I are going back to basics.
We want to find joy in the simple things of Christmas, just as the kids do. We are going to take the kids Christmas light hunting as many times as we can so that they can enjoy the wonderful displays. The house will be filled with sparkly lights and Christmas songs. The kids and I will bake mince pies and biscuits, make decorations, and whatever else it is that they want to do, and we will choose things together as a family that we can enjoy over Christmas which don't include traversing the Christmas crowds. Who knows...we could even get some snow!!
Sometimes, it takes the wonderment of a child to remind you that sometimes the best things in life really are the most simplistic, and the least expensive (apart from the petrol of course!!).