Friday, December 11, 2009

The One Who Brought Mirth

Sydney has been helping me get our Christmas decorations set out throughout the house. We'd put up the tree, and set up our Advent candle wreath; my huge nutcracker collection was set out, and random Santas appeared in corners everywhere.

The last things to be brought out were our nativity sets. One went on my fireplace mantel, and the other came to the dining room table.

As Sydney directed the placement of the figures on the table, she decided to give me a little lesson about the first Christmas. And, in so doing, gave me a pretty big lesson about Christmas today.

"I know who the Wise Men are," she said.

"You do?" I answered. "Tell me all about them."

She picked them up one by one and introduced me to the magi.

"This one is the one that brought gold. It's really pretty and valuable."

Yes, absolutely correct.

"This one is the one that brought frankincense. I think it's like a perfume."

Close, Sydney. And I'm just proud that you didn't call it frankenstein (which I was sorta expecting.)

"And this one is the last one. He's the one who brought mirth."

Almost immediately I thought about correcting her. We all know it's myrrh, after all. But I didn't.

I just gave her a hug and told her how I proud I was of how much she knew about the Wise Men and the story of Baby Jesus. And talked with her a few minutes about how we are like the Wise Men today; we give gifts to other people because they brought gifts to the baby, and that we need to give Jesus our own gifts (our love, and kindness, and helpfulness) today.

But I kept what she said...that "he's the one who brought mirth"...and pondered on it it a little bit. (I find that I often "keep things in my heart and ponder them" a lot during the Christmas season, much like we see Mary doing in the story that started it all.)

Mirth is defined in the dictionary as "gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter."

How wonderful a concept it is to think that, as that Wise Man actually brought myrrh on that starry night so many years ago, he was also bringing a new era of mirth. He was welcoming something that should bring us all joy and happiness and gaiety and contentment and, yes, laughter.

The Christmas season can be overwhelming at times. We can find ourselves so wrapped up in everything that has to be done...the shopping, the money spending, the holiday events and responsibilities, the rush-rush of it all...that we don't experience what should really be the true emotional feeling of the season...the Mirth.

Mirth and joy and laughter come to me in many forms during this time of year.

They come to me as I pick out the gift that I just know will put a big smile on the face of a family member; or as I buy a gift for someone I've never even met, but know still that it will make their Christmas a little more joyful; or as I bite into a gingerbread cookie; or as I watch and listen to little children perform a Christmas play; or as I lie under the tree and shake my gifts with glee; or as I watch Charlie Brown's Christmas on tv; or as I dig out a few extra dollars and put them in that Salvatian Army bucket; or as I light a candle that smells of cinnamon.

Mirth comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes during this time of year.

But, I...and we...must be open to its invitation. We must realize that it's here for us amidst the busyness. We must realize that it's really what makes the season worthwhile.

When we find it, we become a little more wise and we can then carry it to the world around us. And then we can carry it back to the baby Jesus (wrapped not in a box like that first Wise Men did, but wrapped in a smile, and a heart, and open arms) once again.


Lynilu said...

I love how children often open our eyes with their interpretations .... and wise misinterpretations. Sydney is a leader in this! How I wish we didn't have to outgrow innocent understanding. How blessed it is!

Give her an extra hug today in my name, OK? She's a jewel.

Mom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda said...

C - this post is so meaningful to me. As I read this, I laughed, cried, and thought of so many things that I could say. That for this Christmas, there are no material gifts between my dds and myself. I have the gift of their love and a new granddaughter. My oldest dd is in her first aparmtnet, college, and a car payment. My youngest a brand new mommy struggling to make ends meet. Although I can tell you that she and her husband have many who love and help support them in any way they can. Christmas this year is a gift of joy, love, gratefulness, and yes, most of all, laughter....Give Sydney a huge hug and kiss for me. I am still crying, still laughing, and at 53, single, empty nest and all, still loving every moment God has given me. Me thinks that the bringer of Mirth is an ancient ancestor of one of the things kings. Please hug Sydney and tell her she brought sunshine to my life today....

hippo chick said...

From the mouths of Babes. She (and you) are so correct. Thank you both for reminding me that even though the past eight weeks have been tough and Christmas will be a little different this year, Jesus has brought peace and joy into my life. If this isn't a reason for mirth, what is?

~hippo hugs~

Phats said...

I hope you will excuse me for not commenting on this post. but

BOILER UP!! :) what a great game, boy I was pacing, and i have pretty much lost my voice haha. Good Game, now I can say ROLL TIDE the rest of the year

Gin said...

Cheryl, this ws just a beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you so much for this! Sydney is an angel.

Phats said...

My write up of the game is up!! I am going to look at your pictures now

Mom said...

You know I love the word mirth. It's a wonderful thing.

Hug sweet Sydney for me.


Daisy said...

What a touching post.

Edleen said...

she's such a cutie!

have a great week Cheryl :)

Cheryl Wray said...

Thanks everyone! I'm glad that this story touched so many of you.

Thank goodness for Sydney! She brightens many a day, and teaches me SO much!

Hope you all are having a great day. I'm about to upload some pics for a weekend update!

Just Me Again said...

Oh my goodness...Cheryl, you should write a book about Sydney's charming revelations! I love reading all the things she says, and I love this post about Mirth. So, very true! I am beyong happy and full of mirth after having read your beautiful post!

Many, many, many hugs my friend.

Gretchen said... Linking today.

Cathy said...

Over from Gretchen's place...

And I say "AMEN!!!" with all kinds of mirth!

whimzie said...

Gretchen sent me. So glad she did. What a great post!! So sweet and so true.

Mich said...

jumped over from Gretchen's...

beautiful thoughts, your daughter is too cute

Anonymous said...

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
—Psalm 45:7-8