Let’s close our eyes and make believe,
In all the ways we used to see,
A magic world of fantasy,
When we were kids on Christmas morning,
Sometimes it feels like growing up,
Kills all the mystery of being young,
And who I am now loses touch,
With that kid on Christmas morning,
As our daughter was about to celebrate her first Christmas a couple years ago, I wrote:
We all remember when we grew too old for fairy tales. When we started to recognize the line between truth and fiction. For some it came naturally, for others it came as a stab that wounded us for some time. As children, our imagination is one of our greatest gifts. A gift that needs to be nurtured and taught.
C.S. Lewis believed that there was an in between period. Between recognizing that line and embracing that line. But, as he wrote in his dedication for Chronicles of Narnia, “someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
As I grow up, I grow to understand that we are meant to have children while we are young, as our imaginations mature, to reel us back in and prevent the childlike faith inside us from dying.
Sometimes it feels like growing up kills all the mystery of being young, but with a daughter, I see the twinkle in her eye as she creates complex stories for her dolls and stuffed toys. “Thank you!” says the elephant to Donald Duck. “You’re welcome,” says Donald.
But when I hold you close I know,
The truth in every story told,
And anything is possible,
I believe just like a kid on Christmas morning.
I had heard this song before, but this year it struck a chord I hadn’t heard before. Hadn’t truly heard, that is. Charlotte is busy with her imagination, and tears come when I stop her to go to bed, or to leave the house. Certain toys must come with us.
Tonight, as Christmas Eve comes to a close, I pray:
And as I lay me down to sleep,
And pray the Lord my soul to keep,
When I wake it’s you I see,
And I feel just like a kid on Christmas morning.