Yes or no? Should Christmas come more than once a year
“What are you doing Mummy?” Denise quickly covered the present she was wrapping by throwing a tea towel over it.
“Emily!” She said, “you startled me.”
“Is it a present for me?” the little girl asked, trying to see what her mother was doing.
“Nosy people get nothing,” Denise tapped her daughter’s nose.
“I love Christmas, I wish it came ten times a year!” The six-year-old squealed.
“That wouldn’t be a good idea sweetheart, then it wouldn’t be special,” her mother smiled fondly at the little girl's excited face.
“Yes, it would!” Emily’s face glowed with anticipation, her eyes shone, “then all year would be special. Imagine mummy, Christmas dinner every day, a Christmas tree, fairy lights and lots of presents to open.”
Denise felt her heart sink at the thought of all the hard work, never mind the expense. She attempted to explain to her daughter why that would be impossible. “Why do you think something is special?”
Emily thought for a while, “Because it doesn’t happen often?”
“That’s right, sweetheart, you would soon tire of opening presents, there would be no space in your room for so many toys,” she continued, “if you had Christmas dinner every day, you would soon ask for sausages and beans.”
Emily became thoughtful, she nodded, then asked, “would school still happen if Christmas was every day?”
Denise laughed, “The world would come to a standstill, no one would go to work or school, we would all get fat and lazy.”
Denise loved having these sorts of conversations with her daughter, she loved the imagination of children, their carefree lives, how they think everything is possible.
“Why don’t you go and see what Daddy is doing?”
Emily skipped from the room, and Denise pulled the Princess Barbie from under the tea towel. She resumed wrapping the gift to put under the tree standing in the corner of the living room. Looking at the flashing fairy lights, her eyes filled with happy tears, pleased she could afford to make Christmas a special time for her daughter.
Her mind went to past Christmases, her father had always been sick and unable to work, her mother taking in other people’s washing and ironing to keep food on the table. Christmas for her poor mother was just another thing to worry about. Thinking of herself at the same age as Emily and of all the other children around the world for whom Christmas was just another day, she decided that this year she would show her daughter the real meaning of Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, she and her husband took Emily to church, they showed her the nativity scene, explained about the baby Jesus and why we all celebrate his birth. They gave her some money to place in the collection box for all the children in the world who had nothing, explaining that tomorrow all their family would be together, and be grateful to have love, warmth and enough food this Christmas, with maybe just one present.
Sitting around the perfectly decorated dining table, surrounded by her extended family young Emily raised her glass of lemonade and wished everyone “A very special Christmas.”