Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby's First Christmas

The first year of a baby's life can be very intense.  Not only are they learning about their immediate environments, but the world around them is already shaping the "norms" that will soon become familiar to their minds.  Annual events are occurring for the first time without explanation, so by the time people are old enough to register what is happening, these holidays already have an innate sense of familiarity attached to them.

Take Christmas, for example.  One day, in the middle of winter, we wake up early, sit around a decorated tree and unwrap numerous presents delivered by a mysterious figure known as "Santa Claus."  There is no reason to question any of this, because everyone around us just accepts it.  Life is filled with magic, at least for one day.  Many unanswerable questions surround this event, and the answers are too grand for our tiny minds to comprehend it all.  Once we start overanalyzing it, worry starts to settle in.

1988 was the first Christmas for Baby Kermit.  He had learned about Santa Claus and knew that on Christmas morning, the nursery would be filled with presents for him and his friends.  But on Christmas Eve, just as everyone falls to sleep, it begins to snow.  Kermit, fearing that Santa would be unable to locate the nursery in such weather, takes it upon himself to venture out into the blizzard to find Santa himself.

He follows the Northern Lights to make his way to the North Pole where he discovers that Santa has already left.  Kermit grows even more anxious as he realizes he'll never be able to get in touch with Santa in time.  The first Christmas for he and his friends may not occur at all!

Fortunately, the big man himself appears to assuage Kermit's fears.  He explains that he was able to find Kermit due to the overwhelming concern for his friends' happiness.  This love for his friends shines brightly through the thickest, darkest weather.  Kermit learns that Santa is much more than a man.  He is capable of great powers due to the generosity of people like him.  Although he is too young to completely understand, it is okay.  Christmas is not a time to be afraid.  It is the one time of year where good things just happen, no questions asked.  There is no need to worry.

Have no fears, little one.

After spending the rest of the night delivering presents, Kermit wakes up back in his nursery, to find that everything is as it should be.  Perhaps it was just a dream, but he learned a valuable lesson.

People may find many reasons to avoid Christmas.  Some may complain about the over-commercialism while others stress about holiday travel, shopping and cooking.  The religious aspect may be alienating to some while it feels underrepresented for others.  Our collective anxiety is at an all-time high during this season.

But remember your first Christmas?

The event unfolded with nothing but frivolity and joy.  Gifts were exchanged, your family was together, and everybody was happy for no discernible reason.  It became a time to look forward to, not to hide from.  If you find yourself growing anxious this holiday season, take a step back and remember that the point of Christmas is to peacefully relax.  Let your stresses fall by the wayside and let Santa take care of the heavy lifting.

At the very least, find someone you can share it with, love 'em, and hug 'em.

Once again, McDonald's has shown us the true spirit of Christmas.

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