When my oldest daughter was in 1st grade, (now an adult with grandchildren of her own) she had a fascination with the story, “Twas the Night before Christmas.”
Needles to say, I found myself reading her this story every night before bed. The reading would start early December and continued until Christmas.
I never asked my daughter why this story was so important. As I looked back over the years and especially today, a few thoughts came to mind.
Some children tend to create fantasy worlds of their own when the real world is not so kind.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8
God put an instant truth serum in children, which tends to make them reject cruelty and unpleasant things.
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
My daughter would lose herself maybe even submerge her life in a world that seemed pleasant and promising.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2
“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5
Children have an innate ability of escaping trauma and unpleasant things.
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16
Most adults cannot relate to children fantasy worlds and tend to pay less attention to what type space children may create for themselves.
Parents pay attention these worlds can be harmful and dangerous.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8
This story energized my daughter; it seemed to give her a sense of nurturing and security along with glimmering hope.
“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
My daughter adapted a set-time mentality; she looked forward to the beginning and mostly importantly the ending of the story.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Each night that I read the story, it was our private time together. No one could crowd my daughter’s space and she believed no one could hurt her as long as we were together.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2
When bedtime came, she would have pleasant things to dream about and wake up with a revived vigor and vitality.
At six years old, my daughter understood renewed hope. Whatever was troubling or disturbing my little girl went away when I held her and dramatized the story.
I believe my oldest daughter is the reason I have a love for reading to children.
Hopes, dreams, promises, excitement, acceptance, love, protection, peace, rest; these are all things we seek as adults but they are also important to children.
Today Christians do not relate to “The Night before Christmas” in a fantasy world. We celebrate Christmas as Jesus birth and the tremendous gift God gave to the world.
This Christmas, do not ask your children for a Christmas list. Instead, pay attention to your children.
Free up your schedules and spend quality time with children.
Hold your children and grandchildren find a way to give each child individual love and attention, this way a parent or guardian may be able to see what each child really needs.
I believe The Lord is saying a good Christmas gift is, “To look beyond a person’s faults to see their needs!”
“For The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but The LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”” Mark 2:15-17
Read the three below Scriptures for the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas and what it was actually like “The night before Christmas….”
Merry Christmas to all and I hope you were inspired by these Christmas letters
Phil Wickham — Away In A Manger (Forever Amen)
(Official Music Video) – Bing video
The Blessing of The LORD Be upon You,
~ Mary Adger