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DEAR MAE JULIAN,

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Children and Christmas

 

The best thing about having children (or grandchildren) around Christmas time, is that they remind you that happiness comes from the simple joy of doing whatever they have in mind. They don't need what we adults need. When they are being creative in making gifts for their mothers and fathers, or grandparents, they just get a bunch of stuff out of Grandma's sewing room, stack it on the kitchen table, and go at it. There is no rhyme or reason (except to them) in creating their wonderful decorations on the small boxes of gifts they have purchased with their allowance money. Nothing has to match. If there is an unmatched swatch of ribbon or some colored floss, it is no matter to them. Crayons do just fine, too. They get the glue stick and get to work. When they are done with their masterpiece, it will be given to the receiver with such exuberant love and pride that it's no wonder parents and grandparents save these treasures in a special box for the rest of their lives. (How could you put a price on something so precious?) All that glitter that is all over their hands and faces, yarn hanging down in strands, funny papers for wrapping paper (because it is better in their eyes to have cartoon characters than shiny paper), makes adults laugh and cry all at once. Children are the most priceless, creative, wonders of the world. We need to all stop this Christmas and appreciate the gifts that come from the smallest of those in our lives. They are unencumbered with price, looks, or need. They give because there is a love that is not as yet cluttered with all the other things of life. No one has to give them a list of "wants" or "needs." They just make something that gives them joy and in turn, gives the greatest joy to the ones they love. I especially loved the cook books that one teacher had the three year old children make. She put them in a binder and sent them home. Boy, now that is my idea of a cookbook—-no mystery ingredients, no long list of stuff to go to the store and get. Simple and unencumbered as their young lives. I am printing my favorite recipes for you!

From Jack: Eggs, Macaroni and Chicken with hot sauce. Directions: Mix it up.

From Jill: Eggs. Directions: Put some eggs in and stir with fingers.

From Luke: Eggs. Directions: Turn the light on so people can see.

From Anna: Macaroni and cheese. Directions: None. Cook time: 40 min. Temperature: Hot.

From Ian: Chicken. Ingredients: Eggs, chips, penguins. Directions: Stir. Temperature: red.

From Lulu: Cookies. Directions : Put in blender. Temperature: 12 degrees.

May God bless all the little children. And bless the wonderful parents and grandparents who receive their humble gifts with such joy.

Merry Christmas!

Mae Julian

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