You’ve heard it, probably as often as I have: Christmas is for kids. The idea is that Christmas is a time when the eyes of children grow large with wonder and delight, that youngsters are fascinated with all the tinsel and all the colorful wrapping and the story of a baby named Jesus.

That’s certainly true. 

What’s also true — and I’m especially aware of it this year — is that Christmas is a time for adults to watch kids being kids.  To tap into the wild joy that is frequently on display in this season, and to recognize the agony of a meltdown because, after all, it’s hard being a kid.

For me, this is a time of watching my four-year-old granddaughter Emma, and her one-year-old brother Noah, and their 18-month-old cousin Ulysses as they are growing into themselves.  (Of course, every day of the year is for that.)

And it’s kind of poignant because this is the time of year when I’m most aware that Jesus once was a toddler, and once was an 18-month-old, and once was a four-year-old. 

Like these three kids — like children in your own family or those you see at Walmart — Jesus was overjoyed at times and overwhelmed at others and whiny and giggly and lost in his thoughts. 

Jesus was once an innocent little kid, and so was I, and so were you. 

So were all those people we meet in the course of our day, even those who may disagree with us. Each one of us was loveable. 

And we still are.

Patrick T. Reardon


Written by : Patrick T. Reardon

For more than three decades Patrick T. Reardon was an urban affairs writer, a feature writer, a columnist, and an editor for the Chicago Tribune. In 2000 he was one of a team of 50 staff members who won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Now a freelance writer and poet, he has contributed chapters to several books and is the author of Faith Stripped to Its Essence. His website is

Leave A Comment