The day after Christmas can often be a big BLAH! The excitement has died down and most are still in bed. No more begging to open early. No more frantic listing. Today, the day after Christmas, I want peace and quiet. I want to sit in my chair with my feet up, sipping hot chocolate and thinking back over the past month. It is a release of sorts. A listing of our successes. We did make it to all those parties. The church play came together. We did get all the gifts wrapped and mailed. We created cheese balls and cookies until midnight and we did get that last batch of sausage balls out of the oven in time. We opened gifts and ate carb upon carb and played cards and visited and stayed up too late. Now, on the morning after, I am about as fizzly as a three-day-old open coke container. In other words. Flat. I don’t want to hear the whine of another remote controlled anything or hear the crash of a Lego super-cargo plane shattering across the floor.
I am officially declaring December 26 a Day of Screens. As in, “Go find a screen and plug in the earbuds. You have ALL day to be on it. No restrictions. Nothing.” They are amazed and bewildered at the generosity of their mother. “Yes, I mean it. ALL day. Stay on a screen. Yes, yes, you can eat in the TV room. ALL day. Shoo! And find your own lunch!”
Ahhh…I kick back and find that my mind is still on the Christmas play. We had such a wonderful time. We got to embarrass the teens and show them how to really have fun. Poor things they are so limited in their thinking at times. They talk in monotone whispers and think the audience at the back can hear them. They are worried that someone will see them do something silly. I, personally, take it upon myself to help the dear things learn to be un-self-conscious when on stage. My motto is: The crazier the better.
It doesn’t take long for the kids to realize that they will look silly unless they follow the patterns of their elders. When we tell them to burp and scratch their behinds, we mean it. In large gestures. I sing off-key at the top of my lungs and throw my arms all about. I wear the strangest costumes I can come up with. Gradually, they begin speaking in character and raising their arms a bit. My co-conspirator picks her teeth and scratches her head. We are unfazed by rolling eyes and throaty sighs. WE are examples!
Surely, slowly, our little acting crew changes from a few teens and pre-teens who didn’t really want to sign up into a group working together to entertain an audience as well as tell the Christmas story. They learn to laugh at themselves and they learn to help others with their lines. They came on Saturdays, and Sundays, and Wednesdays. By the end they know everyone else’s lines and are thinking like directors. They have created memories that will last forever. Once again, our play was a success!
I love to be in the Christmas play. Not just so I can act crazy. I pretty much do that year round. No, I like to be in the Christmas play so I can see shy people blossom and make others laugh. So I can see the teens forget to be mortified and experience life outside of the phone. I like to watch the pre-teens grow in confidence when they realize they can get up in front of a crowd and tell a story. I like to see the camaraderie grow as the play comes together.
As I lay back in my chair and think through the Christmas play my thoughts are not on the goofiness or craziness of the event – even though that is worth remembering. My biggest thought is that we are creating intergenerational relationships that will sustain us through life. Relationships that show our love to each other. Relationships that will help the young ones learn to laugh because life can be difficult and we all need the ability to laugh at ourselves.
I hope you are having a Day of Screens, or some such soothing activity, so that you have time to reflect back on your Christmas season.
Remember how much you have blessed others and how much others have blessed you.
I hope you are sipping hot chocolate and have your feet up. Take this day to enjoy just being alive.
A special prayer for those traveling home. This is NOT a Day of Screens for you. Be safe and remember to call and let your loved ones know that you made it home safely.