Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)
TITLE: Its not Holiday its Christmas!
By Karuna Barla
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Christmas was just twenty five days away. Shops and malls looked festive, as they tried to outshine each other with different versions of Christmas trees, decorations and cards. I had my five year old, Jason, tag along with me for Christmas shopping, while John babysat Judy our newborn. We needed a tree, some new decorations and about fifteen Christmas cards.
As I hurriedly scanned the shop floor for the perfect tree, a persistent tug on my sleeve called for my attention, “What is it?” I said, inspecting a tree.
“Mom, what’s a holiday tree?”
“Its another name, people have given to the Christmas tree”, words just blurted out. Almost immediately it dawned on me, I had given my little one a politically correct explanation, without giving him an opportunity to learn the truth.
“Why?” he asked.
Thank God for his inquisitive nature and for giving me an opportunity to correct myself. “How about I explain it to you on the way back?”. He consented with a nod.
We continued our shopping and after picking up a few decorations, we stopped by the card section. There was not a single card fit for Christmas. I didn’t notice, Jason study my frustration, when I whined about the no-good Christmas cards and rack full of Happy Holidays cards. Of course I didn’t want my boy to see a frustrating mom over trivial cards, so I cheered myself up and looked at him and said “I guess we’ll have to make our own Christmas cards this time.”. I was relieved at handling the moment nicely, even though it would cost me a lot of time, with a new baby and everything .
On our way back I explained to Jason, how people had coined a different name for the tree and Christmas, as just a Holiday season, so they wouldn’t hurt people from other faith. Oh yeah, I had almost revved up a preacher tone when I presented the case before him how they didn’t refer to other religious festivals as mere holidays and called each one of them by their religious names except Christmas.
“Oh I know, that’s why the store lady wished us Happy Holidays mom!”, he lighted up as if he’d found the last piece of his puzzle.
That was not the end of it as I had thought. A week and a half later, there was a letter from a famous greeting card company for Jason!
We are so sorry that we caused you and your mom so much trouble. In order to make amends I am sending you the first print set of Christmas Cards just for you.
Thank you for your bold reminder on this being a Christmas season and not just a holiday.
Have a very Happy Christmas season.
(the famous greeting card company)
Jason was very proud to show us the letter. A little prying afterwards, helped us understand, how he was moved by the situation and had written a letter to the card company.
“What did you write to them, Jason?”, I asked as I perched him on my lap.
“I told them, because they didn’t print Christmas cards, my mom had to work extra hard and make time to make Christmas cards herself and everything you told me in the car.”
Holding back tears, I hugged my little one. The lesson had taught him to stand up and speak for our faith and for his family. It had given me the ultimate reward, of seeing my child execute my teachings.
That night when I put Jason to bed, I felt proud that my little son had the boldness to stand up for his faith, unlike me. I had bickered about the situation year after year every Christmas, with my other well meaning Christian friends, but hadn’t done anything about it. My son had taught me too - the power of a voice.
“Mom”, he whispered as I turned to leave the room.
“We might get a letter from the tree people too.”
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