There are few things more instructive in how to enjoy life than to watch a young child open Christmas presents.
As a young child opens a toy, he or she will pause to take it out of all its packaging and play with it, even as other gifts wait under the tree, with perhaps the biggest or most expensive to come. The child might do so happily for hours, if not for the adults prompting the child to open the next gift.
As children grow older, they tear through everything under, on, or around the tree like a cyclone, barely pausing to look at one gift before they tear into the next.
You could say this is because young children don’t understand what’s waiting in the brightly wrapped packages under the tree.
You could also say it’s because young children live in the moment.
As we grow older, we lose the ability to do so. We live not in the moment but in anticipation of future moments.
We wish for the day to end as we anticipate the plans of the night (even if just to relax in front of the TV). We wait for the week to end in anticipation of the weekend. We wait for the first 24 days of December to end in anticipation of Christmas. We wait for winter to end in anticipation of summer.
In the meantime, we often fail to appreciate each moment in our lives.
As we enter the long holiday weekend, we are going to try to learn from our little ones, to slow down and enjoy each moment.
We wish all our readers a merry Christmas. May Santa fulfill your every wish, and may you appreciate every moment in this holiday season.