I hope someone still reads the Little House books.:) I have been reading them ever since I can remember, and even before I could read, I can remember wondering who the two serious-faced little girls in sunbonnets sitting in the covered wagon were. (on the cover of Little House on the Prairie)
Recently I dusted off my copies of Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and On the Banks of Plum Creek and read them over again. I have read the whole series ( my favorites are Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years ) but these are the ones on the family bookshelf at the present. I have always loved the simplicity of Laura's growing-up years, and the special way that she and her sisters loved each other and their parents.Anyway, this last time that I read the first three Little House books, I couldn't help but notice how grateful Laura was, in the little log house in the woods of Wisconsin, to recieve a rag doll, a candy cane, and a pair of mittens. That seemed like pure riches to her at (I think) five years old. I get the sense that Laura was not a spoiled child, and that she was grateful for the small things that her parents gave her.
The next Christmas in the log cabin on the prairie Laura and her sister recieved for Christmas a penny, a peice of cake, a stick of candy, and a tin cup. They were not expecting anything at all because the bad weather had prevented their parents from making any trips to Independence to get them anything. But when they did get their presents, they could hardly imagine that anyone could actually get that much for Christmas. Imagine being that unspoiled. Doesn't it sound like the sweetest thing? I would love to raise my future children like that.
In the second Christmas Laura related in her book On the Banks of Plum Creek Laura's Pa had gone to town to pick up their Christmas presents (which, by the way, consisted of candy) and was caught in a blizzard on the way home. To keep himself from starving, he had to eat the candy that he had bought for his little girls' Christmas. When he later returned home and confessed this to them, Laura's response was, "Oh, Pa, I'm so glad you did!" She didn't care that she wouldn't be getting anything for Christmas this year; she was just happy and thankful that her father had returned home safely.
Unfortunately, in modern America, these attitudes in kids under the age of nine seem foreign and unrealistic. Isn't that sad? What if Christmas came around and we didn't have anything~ no tree, no special treats, and no gifts~ just Jesus, who is why we have Christmas anyway, and our families? I magine that for a second. Would we enjoy Christmas as much if we had just that? Kind of puts Christmas in a different perspective, doesn't it?
I have so much to be grateful for this Christmas! A wonderful family, a sweet cozy home nestled in the country, precious memories in the making, and Jesus, Who is the Reason we have a Christmas. I hope that at I can keep the same kind of attitude that Laura had at the different Christmases she wrote about in the Little House books. We do have such a wonderful Reason to be happy and thankful at Christmas and all year round, don't we?