Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A Simple Act
Christmas is touted as a season of giving. We're always supposed to be "giving" and I know that; but there's something special about Christmas. My family tries to be generous of our time and money at Christmas. Sometimes I think I do "more" stuff like that just because I have kids to be an example to. (I know, not a great motivation!) So, when there are opportunities I like to engage in them.
Yesterday was one of them.
My church gathered a small group of mostly kids to go to a nursing home and sing Christmas Carols to the residents. When I was in jr. high my church would also do such things and I do remember that it touched them so much! Some of these people won't see their family and don't see many kids. I knew it would be a blessing to them.
I set aside one of Katie's best Christmas dresses, a red old-fashioned one with smocking and a bow in back. I paired it with white stockings and shiny black patent leather mary jane shoes. For her hair, I tightly banded two little pigtails, topped with HUGE bows. I personally prefer medium sized bows; these were really big! (texas-sized a friend of mine jokes) But they were white and matched and she looked really cute. She easily could've been a child from the 1920's or 1930'. Or anytime. She was classic.
It was all deliberate; I wanted to dress her up. I thought the old men and ladies would appreciate it. I also wanted to attend this event because people love little kids and Katie is little. I knew she's not be able to read the verses to all the songs. Perhaps her sole "worth" was just her smile and being cute.
She WAS cute! I love my kids. My boys were singing and looking at their songsheet. They were focused. Katie was unencumbered by a paper with words so she looked out to the audience, sang her heart out to them. At least the songs she knew. If she did not know the song, she jingled her bells, put her hands high in the air, danced a bit, and did a large amount of jumping up and down!
Not perfect, conformed behaviour? It was priceless. It was worthwhile. It was joyful!
The residents loved the carols, loved the kids. Afterwards some of the older kids that weren't too afraid went out to the audience and touched them, held their hands, said Merry Christmas. A small gesture of kindness but it meant so much to these precious people! Katie received so many hugs and she wasn't afraid of them. It made me happy, seeing her interact with others. The joy on their faces, the laughter, it was all indescribable. I was happy to share my little girl with them and happy that she was so comfortable.
Later we went to some rooms of those that couldn't move around to go to the meeting room to hear the carols. Many of these folks had trakes and were hooked up to various machines. One wanted Katie to draw nearer and she did, but later told me she was afraid of the noise. (of the machines) My wise friend Kim lovingly, gently explained to her that the noises were a good thing and that the machines were working and helping the person in the bed.
At the end, I could tell that my kids were tired. (for Katie I'm sure it had to do with all the jumping up and down she did in the songs!) It was all greatly rewarded to her, not just in the joy of helping bring joy to others (which is the proper reason we adults do things) but because she was given cookies and juice at the end. (2 cookies!) It was a highlight. I know when she's older seeing and knowing the joy she gave to others will be important but right now I'm happy for this little exposure to life and how well and comfortable she was. It brought tears to my eyes, seeing what an impact my church kids were to them.. Not just Katie or my other kids but ALL the kids!
I will definitely make it a point to go back next year. It was so simple; just taking time out to sing a few carols. In a different setting I'd probably be trying to calm Katie down, telling her not to jump around, stand up straight, etc. but it was in her natural kid demeanor that made her so endearing to the audience. Had she not been herself, it wouldn't have been as precious as it was. (it also helps that she's just 5)
I know this is s rambling post but I just wanted to express my happiness that my church invited all who wanted to attend to be a part of this. It was worthwhile and was a meaningful addition to Christmas for my family. I'm just so thankful I was there, and my kids were a part of it.
Posted by victoria at 12/22/2009 10:38:00 AM