Ever think what actually means the most to a child? At this Christmas season when we are thinking of a special gift for that little one that we love, we may want to think what he or she would grab first if there was a need to run away from danger or they were feeling insecure and afraid.
This may sound strange, but the little boy below had survived the terrors of war and obviously shared this terrifying time with his stuffed animal. Both of them look as if they have had a rough experience. I can only guess that he and his family had to run for a shelter when the bombs dropped on London during WWII. There must have been many things in his home, but this is what he loved most. This animal with the odd-looking head probably was the one thing the boy always slept with…and it could not be left. There seems to be an instinct to have something comforting during difficult or scary times. Parents need to be aware of this when a child faces the unknown.
A little girl sits on the edge of a fallen beam. She too is in London facing the fears of war. She holds close her doll. That doll had to be saved just as she did. Call it her female instinct to mother her baby…or just something of comfort and assurance. She may be whispering softly, “Everything will be okay, baby. Mother says the bombs have stopped! Mother always knows.”
Fast forward to our own generation of children. What would be the first thing they think to hold onto during a terrifying storm or when going to bed after seeing too much on TV about the brutality facing people in the world today. Would they hold close a cell phone, an electronic game…or their favorite stuffed animal or “Linus blanket”?
Speaking of Linus Van Pelt, Lucy and the others from Peanuts always gave him a hard time about the blanket he dragged around with him. Didn’t they all know…and don’t we, that “Happiness is a warm blanket”? What we hold closest to us often gives a feeling of security from the problems of life. We, as adults, think we have lost our need for the “blanket” and try to substitute other things in our lives. Somehow they are just not the same.
This leads us back to the holidays and our gifts that we give to our friends, neighbors, or family. Make it something comforting…a warm pie; a bowl of soup; cookies and milk ….or something warm and cuddly….especially for our children.