I said I would take the holidays off writing, but sometimes, inspiration just hits, which is what happened for me this evening.
We all know how the song goes “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” It’s incredibly sad, referring to the children in Africa who have next to nothing.
This evening, I was humbled by my eight-year-old son when I was brushing his teeth before bed and singing it. He asked me what that one line meant. I explained that it was about the poor children in Africa who don’t have much of anything, so it’s asking if they even know it’s Christmas.
He was shocked and asked me why Santa doesn’t go to them. I had no explanation. I was caught off guard, and I just said “I don’t know, baby.” The entire conversation broke my heart and left me really thinking.
I went downstairs after tucking my kids in, and while my husband stood guard of their rooms, I began putting their gifts under the tree. I stood back afterward, and to be completely honest, I usually look at the gifts and wonder if it will look like “enough” to the kids in the morning—a mountain of gifts…and I often wonder if it will look like enough?
Tonight, when I stood back and looked, I was almost sick to my stomach, realizing how much we have, while those children just want clean water.
My children are eating a big, delicious meal that makes them full, while those children are starving.
My children are tucked into their warm beds, in their safe home, while those children sleep on the ground with little to no shelter.
My children spent the day overjoyed that Santa is coming, while those children know very well he will not.
My children’s biggest concern is not getting a birthday party this year, while those children’s biggest concern is not getting medical care.
I realize this is a depressing idea, but I think we can all use a reminder sometimes—some perspective—especially while we all feel sorry for ourselves for not seeing our families this year (in the same way we are used to).
So let’s all be reminded of our blessings rather than our shortcomings this Christmas.
If you have a comfortable bed with a roof over your head, food to eat, and clean water, please rejoice.
2020 may suck for us—but it’s a bad year, not a bad life.