Children show true joy of Christmas

While working on a story earlier this week, I traveled to several different elementary schools in the county, including Elvin Hill Elementary, Greystone Elementary, Montevallo Elementary and Oak Mountain Elementary, to hear wisdom out of the mouths of kindergarteners and first-graders.

I asked them questions such as “How does Santa get on your roof?” and “How many elves does Santa have?” Their answers made me smile, laugh and occasionally gave me food for thought.

One little girl from Elvin Hill Elementary said Santa has 10 elves — “one to help him find his glasses and the others to make all the toys.” A first-grader from Greystone Elementary said Santa’s reindeer take him onto the roof to find a chimney, but Santa doesn’t fret if there’s no chimney — he simply walks in the front door.

Listening to the kids puzzle out their answers and seeing the sparkles in their eyes when talking about the magic of Christmas helped spark that same feeling in me.

A few weeks ago, I would have been incensed to hear Christmas music on the radio — now, I’m calling up Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” on my iPod every time I get in the car.

It’s such a joy to drive to work through Columbiana’s sweet downtown and see Christmas decorations on every corner. I love to hear every shop worker say “Happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas” when walking in the doors.

Shelby County has received so many blessings, and Christmas is the perfect time to give thanks for all of them.

Christmas is a special time of the year for me — my wedding anniversary is Dec. 20 and my birthday is Dec. 23, so my family has a lot to celebrate every December.

However, it’s been a long time since I’ve really felt a child’s pure joy and wonder of Christmas, which is so much more than just the commercialism and presents.

I appreciate every child I talked to at those four elementary schools for helping me get a glimpse of the real Christmas again.

Amy Jones is the associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 30 or by email at amy.jones@shelbycountyreporter.com.