My wife and I are in the process of adopting a baby girl, known affectionately as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

In this regular column, I am sharing the ins and outs of parenting a newborn and the joys and challenges of adoption.

Enjoy this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

The Blessing of Kids at Christmas

This year will be the first time Angie and I celebrate Christmas with our little Squish in tow.

With less than a week to go before Christmas — but lots of fun Yuletide memories already made as a family of three — I have been reflecting on how having a baby in the picture has broadened my view of Christmas.

Here are a few of my thoughts. I wonder if you can relate to any of them?

The Value of Traditions

Angie and I have lived quite transient lives lately, having moved between four different homes since 2020. As such, it has been difficult to establish many regular Christmas traditions. But the ones we have kept are priceless — and the best part is that Squish now gets to be part of them.

Our traditions include hanging stockings, with three now on the mantle; baking so many cookies and slices we have to give them away to our neighbours; and Angie finding a new decoration for our Christmas tree that marks a significant event from the year just been — in this case, one that features Angie, Squish and me as a family of three.

Joined by Angie’s parents, we also recently walked a nearby neighbourhood festooned with brilliant Christmas lights — with Squish bundled up and in her carrier, eyes wide at the overwhelming sights.

We can’t wait to make cinnamon rolls and open Christmas presents with Squish before church on Christmas Day.

And of course, there will be Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch with Angie’s extended family — including Squish’s two doting older cousins.

Remembering how magical Christmas was for me as a child, it is exciting to be able to do the same for our baby and set the tone for her for many years to come. As the popular saying goes, Christmas is for children.

The Meaning of Carols

I have always loved Christmas carols. Among my all-time favourites are O Holy Night (especially the little-known version by Jeremy and Kimberly Sorensen) and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (check out this lively rendition by Matt Maher).

If I am honest, however, there are some carols that have never appealed to me that other people seem to love. Away in a Manger and Silent Night are examples that come to mind.

But these two songs make for great lullabies, so I have been singing them to Squish the last few nights before bed. And suddenly, they have taken on a whole new meaning.

As my good friend Warwick Marsh has mused, “If there is one thing children understand, it’s birthdays. The birthday of Jesus is no exception.”

Singing these two carols to Squish has helped me think about Christmas through the eyes of a child for the first time in decades. And it’s a beautiful thing.

The Reason for the Season

This year, I have not just been thinking about Christmas through the eyes of a child. I have also become much more aware that the main character of the Christmas story is a child: Jesus.

Honestly, the little baby in the manger can sometimes get lost among all the shepherds, wise men and angels — not to mention His parents, Mary and Joseph, who both play leading, heroic roles in the drama.

And not to mention all the tinsel and commercialism we have added to Christmas in the centuries since.

When I look at Squish at Christmas time, I am reminded that God didn’t send a mighty monarch or military figure to save the world. He sent an innocent, helpless little baby. It is truly an incredible revelation.

As the heavenly host announced to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

What a humble God! And what a beautiful season to celebrate His arrival into our world.

So, from Angie, Squish and me, have a very Merry Christmas!


Image via Unsplash.

Published On: December 21st, 20230 CommentsTags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

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