It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As the song goes, “It’s the hap-happiest season of all, with those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings; when friends come to call …”
But what happens when the holiday greetings aren’t what you expected, or friends don’t come to call? What do we do when we don’t find the love we need this season, when others don’t reciprocate the love we give?
Anna Mitchell writes about her 6-year-old son and how an experience with holiday greetings completely crushed his heart. On the last day of kindergarten, he came home with a bag of cards and candy canes, excited for the messages from friends and classmates.
He ran to his room to read the cards and check out his treats. Soon Anna was drawn to his bedroom by sobbing. When she entered the room, there he was sitting with cards and candy surrounding him.
He sat there gripping one card and sobbed. As Anna approached, he held out the card for her and asked if it said hate? After taking the card from him she read the message, “Dear [name], I hat you.” Underneath was an upside down heart with a large X through it.
The meaning of the card was clear, but the card was not signed. Feeling her son’s heartache, Anna went to the school with the card to inquire, but no one knew who had written it.
Unwilling to give up, she posted the card on Facebook to try to find the origin. It didn’t take long before a father came forward and said that it was his daughter that had written the card.
The man apologized and told Anna that he had spoken to his daughter. He and his daughter were willing to talk to her and her son to resolve the issue.
Anna ended her blog post with this: “There are always extenuating circumstances, I get that. No child is perfect. I also understand that we’re talking here about little kids. Kindy kids.
“But at the end of the day, one thing is unequivocally clear: hate is not a natural feeling for a six-year-old. Children learn to hate. So let this be a lesson to all this festive season. Teach your children to love and accept. Be kind always. And please check your children’s Christmas cards.”
We can all agree that children should be taught to love and be kind. However, another worldview would reveal that it is a natural feeling for a child of only 6-years old to feel hate.
The Bible teaches that humans are “children of wrath.” We as humans are capable of selfishness and anger the minute we are born, it’s not something that needs to be taught. In the Book of Matthew, it is taught that anger is the seed to hate.
Most would also agree that our world is broken, but there is beauty in that brokenness. After all, many of our movies are based on this theme; something is broken and needs a savior.
Yes, teach your children love, and also teach them to see the beauty in the brokenness. That way they can see value in the broken, even the value of a little girl who showed her anger in a Christmas card.
What steps do you take to ensure your children grow to become loving adults? What would you do if you were in Anne’s shoes. Maybe you have been? Bring the conversation to social media by clicking the share buttons below.
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