The Joy of Discovery

Posted 19 December, 2012 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 30 Comments

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Several weeks ago Kelly from Cobwebs, Cupcakes, and Crayons asked if I would partake in a hop she puts together each month called Collectively Creative. When she told me that the topic was Joy, I thought and thought and thought about what to write about. I think that I might have missed the boat as my post isn’t a creative craft or idea for around the house–rather I took the theme of Joy as something we find in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the season.

The Discovery of Joy During the Holidays

Elle will be 20 months on Christmas day so this technically isn’t her first holiday season but in many ways it feels like it is. The sounds are new, the sights are new, the tastes are new—everything is new and exciting for her.  Last year she was 8 months and just didn’t quite get it…

As an adult who has been through the holiday season over 30 times already, I sometimes feel bogged down in the heaviness of the errands and shopping and general madness. I forget to stop and enjoy the delights all around me. Having a toddler in the house has helped me open up my own eyes as I am constantly showing her the wonders all around. WHOA a snowflake! WHOA a cookie! WHOA the Christmas lights! I know, right? It’s SO EXCITING!! (You can hear me saying this, huh?)

The joy of discovery is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. I being to see things differently because I am introducing them to a new set of eyes. Think about if you’ve ever had someone come and visit your hometown and you play tour guide. You see all sorts of things that you probably hadn’t paid attention to before. It’s amazing the little details we miss when we aren’t really looking.

Everything seems to have new meaning when you are introducing it to a new set of eyes. Or ears. Silent Night and Away in a Manger make wonderful lullabies when I am rocking Elle before bed. And you know what? Singing those hymns has made me think and hear about the words I am singing outloud.

And sure, discovery can also be exhausting–there is a lot of “be gentle” and “don’t touch that” uttered at our house (I won’t mention the bag of flour that got dropped in the pantry yesterday while we were making dinner…), but the gasps and squeals of delight are worth every bit of it.

Even if you don’t have young kids or even if you aren’t a parent. Even if you don’t think that you have time or are feeling rushed…

I urge you to take a few minutes today and stop and look around.

Look the Salvation Army guy in the eyes as you walk into the store (he doesn’t care if you don’t give him any money…) and feel the JOY when he says Merry Christmas back to you with a smile.

Look at the lights and squint and see them shine in all their glory.

Listen to your favorite Christmas song and savor a cuppa tea or cocoa.

Take it in. Take it in like you are discovering all of the sights and the sounds and smells like you have never experienced them before. Let the worry and the stress go for five minutes and let your heart fill with JOY.

It’s wondrous.

I know the first picture and the last picture are blurry–that’s what happens when you refuse a flash in low-light. But you can see the joy can’t you?

So–I apologize for not having a craft to share with you–but I sincerely hope that you will discover some joy in your day today.

I’m honored that Kelly included me amongst such wonderful and crafty bloggers. Please check out their posts on Joy today:

Framing Christmas PJs – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
J-O-Y to the World – (Pillows A-La-Mode)
How To Display Christmas Cards – (Organized Living Essentials)
Adding Joy to Every Room – (Neaten Your Nest)
DIY Gift Bows (Upcycled Toilet Paper Rolls) – (Inspire and Indulge)
How to trim a Christmas tree: ornaments, Lego trains and whipped cream – (The Thing About Joan)
Joy Advent Calendar (And Giveaway!) – (Cul de Sac)
Joy To The Cookies: Having an Annual Holiday Cookie Baking Party – (Green Door Hospitality)
The Spirit Of Christmas – (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
DIY Themed Mini Christmas Trees (This One’s for My Husband!) – (Mrs. And The Misc.)
Wrapped In Christmas Lights (Happy Little Kiwi)
Sharing Joy – (Gentle Stitches)

How do you find joy or what brings you joy during the holiday season?

30 Responses to “The Joy of Discovery”

  1. Oh this is so much better than any craft post you could have given us :) What a truly beautiful post! It must be so wonderful introducing Christmas to little Elle and so heartwarming to see that joy in her face :) I still at 31 years old take in that joy. I’ll be sitting in my apartment by myslef sometimes and just squint my eyes to see the lights on the tree blurry because they just look so more beautiful like that :)

  2. Wonderful post, Trish! It’s a lot easier to retain the magic as an adult when children are around, at home or even just around town when you’re shopping. Looking at things afresh and remembering how exciting it was when a child helps a lot, too.

  3. I loooooove this about being a parent, too. How long he can stare at the ceiling fan, or the paper parasol/umbrella with Chinese characters and paintings on it. The Christmas tree seems to be something he can gaze upon for hours without getting tired. Even though it seems like he can’t be still for that long no matter what’s going on. I love seeing things with the fresh, untainted eyes of a child! :D

    How looonnng he can savor one tiny bite of food. Even if it’s not a particularly new food. I never take that kind of time, to my regret. But I love the frequent reminders to do so, at least.

  4. Oh, Trish, this post was PERFECT. It got me a little teary eyed. Being a mom does make you see the world differently as you (literally) crouch down and see things through your child’s eyes…from their perspective. Annabelle is two now and this Christmas season has simply been the best. It is so much fun to introduce her to all the Christmas traditions and wonder. Thank you so very much for being part of The Joyful Edition. -Kelly (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)

  5. Nice post! I’m finding joy in the small things like spending time with my family, enjoying a cup of coffee in front of the tree, and just being thankful for all that I have.

  6. Love your post! yep, having kids made me discover things all over again! and I too refuse to put up the flash lol! so end up with many many blurred pictures ;) enjoy your little one to bits and hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  7. As usual, a beautiful post that sums up what I’ve been feeling just perfectly. We decorated our tree last night and the sheer joy that monkey got from it was amazing.

  8. What a wonderful post – and a perfect reminder that it’s the simplest things that are the best and most beautiful.

    This time of year one of my favorite simple joys is to be sitting in the family room on a weekend mornig with the Christmas tree all list up. Both The Hubster and I have terrible eyesight but the cool bonus from that is that when we take our glasses off the tree looks so amazing. It’s like built in bokeh because of we’re so nearsighted. It’s a silly thing but I love it.

    I adore all the photos of your darling daughter – you always manage to capture the wonder and delight in her eyes.

  9. Ti

    Great post and even when your daughter gets older, you will still have opportunities to see things differently. My daughter is 9 and is my mini-me. I’ve thought about skipping pieces of the holiday (like baking) or not putting the upstairs trees up, but she came along and set me straight! She stopped me cold in the grocery store and wanted to know why I wasn’t picking up the baking supplies? But mom… Santa HAS to have cookies mom. Yes, he does :)

  10. It’s the beautiful thing about being a parent that I never realized until I had children: you get to relive your childhood through their eyes. Love this post! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  11. Amy

    I’m glad you didn’t feature a craft; I’ve been starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all of the amazing ideas out there, so this post offered the perfect balance. And really, joy isn’t about the crafts and projects; it’s about enJOYing every moment.

    P.S. I sing Silent Night and Away in the Manger as lullabies, too. They’re perfect!!!

  12. What a wonderful post – it really is easy to forget how beautiful all of the decorations are when you have to haul them out, put them up, take them down and put them away. Easy to forget how lovely some of the songs are when you hear them non-stop for hours every day and weeks ahead of time. I love having Elle remind me to take it all in and enjoy it. And you caught a smile!

  13. I loved this post. I think I still have a bit of “kid” in me because for some reason Christmas always seems “new” to me each year. I love it. Perhaps it is because of the young people in my life or perhaps it is just me. What ever the reason I loved your writing about it.

  14. Great post, and I completely agree that watching a child discover something changes the way you view it yourself. On a side note, if I have to say “gentle, gentle” one more time, I may ban Christmas trees. :)

  15. I LOVE this post! I totally feel like this about not only Christmas, I try to keep this wonder throughout the year. It’s an amazing feeling if you let it in. :-)

  16. Les

    Thanks for this wonderful post, Trish. I so needed to read it this week. I seem to have developed a love-hate relationship with the holidays…

  17. Love this! And you are so so right…seeing the joy through our kiddos — or just slowing down for a minute — heightens the joy. :)

  18. CJ


    I just finished shovel the foot and a half (probably more) of snow we’ve gotten over the last 24 hours and, after reading your post, I’m reminding myself of how truly beautiful the snow is. It is clean, crisp, cold, silent, and absolutely beautiful… Not sure I would’ve seen it that way without your words. Thank you.


  19. This is a great post and a great reminder of what’s important. After I had kids, I began to re-discover all the wonders that holidays have to offer young eyes and hearts. Thank you!

  20. That is a beautiful photo of you and Elle. I think it’s wonderful that you can stop and rediscover the holidays every year as Elle gets older. Life gets more clarity. Enjoy the holiday season :)

  21. It has been a very long since I have visited blogs, Trish – but I am trying to get back into the swing of things. I just wanted to comment on your beautiful baby girl. Well, I guess she is no longer a baby…

    What joys you must have shared this Christmas – and what a wonderful future 2013 holds for your sweet family.