Great post from Desiring God here. Very encouraging this Christmas:
My happiest Christmas memory is the time each year that my aunt Nancy directed my cousins and me in a reenactment of the nativity. The youngest among us — a girl — was always baby Jesus, and as Mary, my main job was not dropping her when I placed her in the manger (and avoiding wayward staffs twirled by the ragtag band of boy cousin shepherds).
When I reflect on those memories, the principal player was my aunt Nancy. The yearly play was her idea, so of course we looked to her to take the lead and to direct us as to when to proceed solemnly into the living room for our performance. But more than that, we followed her lead because she cared. She was enthusiastic about the story we were reenacting, so we naturally were too.
My happiest memories as a child, and the ones imprinted most indelibly on my heart, typically involve a happy or enthusiastic adult — a teacher who taught my class to dance the Virginia Reel during our Civil War unit, a softball coach who infused fun into every practice, and a band director who loved his job.
But the happiest of happy moments always involved my parents. When my dad laughed or my mom got excited about something, time stood still and my heart threatened to burst. I delighted to see them delighted; their enthusiasm and joy instantly and naturally transferred to me because I loved to see them happy.
Kids learn to love what brings their parents delight…