It’s an average Sunday night here at the Lang home. Joy is at work. The kids are driving me nuts. It’s dinner time, and lentil soup and a slice of bread is on the menu (the extent of my culinary skills, sadly). My eldest daughter usually offers the prayer of thanks. We get dished up, settle in, and she starts in:
Thank you for this food, and thank you for this day. I pray we have a good time tonight.
Pretty basic so far. Sort of the canonical beginning to the meal-time prayer. At this point, she’ll usually go into something more personal, something that reflects what’s on her mind at the time. Tonight, she was thinking big:
And please make the days shorter… so that Thanksgiving and Christmas come sooner.
Wow. Audacious. She’s been thinking a lot When I heard the first part about making the days shorter, I was thinking about how they were getting “shorter”, in terms of daylight (btw, DST needs to die!), and started chuckling a bit. Then I heard the last bit, and saw how she had worked the whole thing out in her head. If the days were shorter, we’d see the holidays sooner. OK, makes sense. I’ll roll with it. But she didn’t stop there. No, she had this one all detailed out:
And then when it’s Thanksgiving, can you make the days longer again? In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Wow again. She didn’t want the holidays to go whizzing by like the days leading up to them. So she made sure she articulated out for the Good Lord that once the holidays start, we can get those longer days back, so we can enjoy the holidays. Let’s not leave this to chance, right?
This has me thinking about the holidays. I’ve gone through possibly every imaginable process, attitude and response to the holidays. From being bitter about the retail-driven covetousness and not wanting to celebrate at all, to a renewed connection with the Good News and values that we celebrate this time of year, to the utter and often simultaneous frustration and elation that planning for and then spending time with family can bring. But here is my daughter, once again, showing me what the holidays look like through a fresh set of eyes, thus far untainted by the forces that seek to ruin this wonderful time of year with their pursuit of money or attention.
My daughter is excited to see her auntie. Excited to visit her grandparent’s new house for the first time since they’ve moved in. Looking forward to the moments that later in life she may not necessarily recall clearly but certainly will cherish.
So this year, I’m going to take a hint from my 5 year-old. I’m going to hasten the holidays, then try to slow down enough to enjoy them. Because of the message of the holidays and the importance of sharing that message with my family, and in spite of the stresses, disappointments, and maybe hurts that would detract from that main event, I want to enjoy the holidays and the people I get to share them with. I hope you take the opportunity to do the same.