Children and Joy: Signs of the Season

Monday December 13, 2010


“Madison Avenue has convinced us that Christmas is all about being merry, and it’s not. Christmas is about joy.”

As he opened a wonderful concert this afternoon, Patrick Dupre Quigley, the artistic director of Seraphic Fire, spoke those words.

He explained how, years ago, Christmas was a season of anticipation, how it was not celebrated until midnight on December 24th. And when it came, joy bubbled to the surface.

Merry. Joy. What’s the difference?

One who is merry has temporary happiness that alights on the surface and is affected by circumstances.

Joy, on the other hand, is an inner quality. Impervious to the situation, it rests below the surface but shines through. Often it bubbles over. Joy seems to have a life of its own.

Which do you want for your children? I vote for joy.

How do we foster joy?

  • Little eyes notice everything we do and say. When we let go of the temporal and give importance to what lasts, they notice.
  • As we guide them through the big and small disappointments of life, we can steer them toward joy.
  • When we’re thankful and we express that, joy follows.

When we know we’re loved and valued and there’s One by our side through the ups and downs of life, joy can’t be far behind.

So love them. Show you value them.
And introduce them to the One who loves them even more.

It’s the perfect time of year to come to face to face with the real Source of joy.

Is your house full of joy during this season? How does that happen?

5 comments:

Heidiopia said...

So true, Laura that joy seems to come from within-- it's a state of being. Hope you have a joyous day!

Amy Sullivan said...

Laura,
I've never thought of the word "merry" this way, but you are right. . . it is so temporary.

We are snowed in and joy has found itself in reading by our fireplace, playing board games we haven't looked at in years, and cooking together. Through these things I'm a trying to show that I love and value those important little people in my life.

Victoria said...

This is a very timely post for me. Things get to me and I forget that Sweet'ums won't know how to let go if I don't teach her. Thanks for the reminder. This post is great, as usual. :) I'm going to try harder to show her joy.

Karen said...

Oh, Laura, I want joy when I have all 18 here for 3 days! Joyful confusion, but still joyful.

Graceful said...

It's kind of a raucous joy around here...but it's joy indeed. I like your distinction between merry and joy. Perhaps I will start wishing my loved ones and friends and joyful Christmas!

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