Perplexing perfection

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By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

A parent of a young child told me last week that this year’s Christmas-tree decorating experience was the best ever.

Why? Because the parent discovered that the tree didn’t have to be perfect. At least not in anyone’s eyes but the child’s.

Ornaments were left where the youngster put them on the tree—completely unbalanced and all hanging about two feet from the floor. The parent took joy in the child taking joy.

It’s easy to lose one’s perspective of Christmas festivities. As adults, we want everything to look just right, sound just right, taste just right. But what kind of memories are we making for our children?

Sometimes those memories aren’t so good, and many of us bigger kids deal with our own painful issues this time of year. However, we can stop the cycle.

Jesus once made an interesting comment to a group of adults complaining about what children were chanting about him.

“Haven’t you read,” Jesus said, “‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matt.21:16 NKJV)

Imagine – the words of children reaching God’s idea of perfection. I’ll bet it had something to do with the heart.

I wish I’d been more like Jesus during the holidays when my children were young. I was a little too concerned about how the Christmas village display looked, and I kept a pretty tight rein on its layout rather than letting young minds and hands arrange it the way they wanted.

Participation trumps perfection every time.

Life is messy and disorganized.

So are kids.

So are celebrations—especially Christmas.

Let’s not allow our displeasure over unbalanced décor to spoil our children’s Christmas memories.

Instead, let the games of life begin! Full of imperfections—and praises—in all their childlike splendor.


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The bell clanged and the Smith family poured through the mercantile door, bundled and stomping and laughing. The children’s eyes glittered like Christmas candles when they saw the stately spruce.

 “Oh, Mama,” Emmy said. “It smells so pretty. Can we have a tree?”               ~Loving the Horseman





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(c) 2017 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved. 

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