Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cancel Christmas?

While driving into work yesterday,  I was channel surfing.  (The drive was pretty treacherous. Snow was falling, cars were going in the ditch, should have had both hands on the wheel...what is that called?  Oh yeah...inattentive driving)...Anyway....   

I heard the words "cancel" and "Christmas" and thought, "Hmmm...this could be interesting" so I took my finger off the dial and tuned in.

A woman called in to the station venting about her dilemma.    Her husband had had it with their  9-14 year old kids "being naughty" and basically said, "that's it, I'm cancelling Christmas."  He proceeded to take down the tree and the decorations, much to his household's stunned disbelief.     

My first thought was "what an idiot parent."  Seriously.  Who does that?  Nothing like scarring your child for life.  In a writer's life that would be called your "dark moment from the past."  Cancelling Christmas would definitely qualify!  That dark place in time when something happened that you just can't get past.  This would be it!  No tree, no presents, no Santa.  Being a parent myself,   I was rooting for those kids!
I found myself unleashing my outrage like a raving lunatic only to realize that no one was listening.  (thank goodness!)
The radio announcer encouraged the audience to chime in with their advice to this woman.  "This ought to be good," I howled out loud. 

Many called in and  told of tales in their own lives of how they dealt with "naughty kids" this time of year.
One told of having put  presents under the tree.  Whenever their child displayed disobedience, he was told to go and pick out a present under the tree and unwrap it.  The gift was then taken away from him,and given to a child in need.
Numerous callers told of giving their juvenile coal in their stocking citing the Christmas Carol "he knows when you've been bad or good...."

I giggled as I pulled in to my office parking lot.  Sliding into a space, I parked my car and gathered my things.  Getting out of my car, I trudged through the snow, and up the stairs to start my day.  I couldn't seem to get that drive time conversation out of my head. 
Could it be that father wanted his kids to understand what Christmas really means?  Their fighting just made him realize they weren't getting it?
Peace and "Joy to the World" were being strangled by food fights and hair pulling.
He probably questioned, "this is my child?" whenever he heard, "What child is this?"

If getting his children to comprehend that Christmas is about giving and not getting, about a Savior who is Christ the Lord, then I am all for his proclamation.  

1 comment:

  1. What a great subject for this time of year! Once the kids learn the real Santa story, the "you'd better be nice" approach loses all it's power! This leaves "the parents" - as our blended bunch of children used to call us - to their own devices. John and I went to Kelly's house last Sunday for dinner and to help decorate the tree. We so very much enjoyed listening to Kelly and Brandon telling their ladies stories from our Christmases past. It made us realize that, as a parent in the-thick-of-things, you really don't know what your children are taking in. Perhaps we won't truly know what Christmas means to our children until they have families of their own.