When I was a little girl I would sit up half the night looking at the twinkling lights on our Christmas tree. Christmas songs filled the house and every room just seemed warmer and cozier than usual.
During this time of year, I would pull out one of my Childcraft story books and read all of the Christmas stories. My favorite was the Sugar Plum Tree by Eugene Field, which is actually a poem. It left me with visions of a deliciously wondrous tree filled with sugar plum fruit, which I imagined were actually covered in sugar. The poem describes an apron full of tasty treats along with the sugar plum fruit:
“There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppefrmint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains,
As much as your apron can hold!
Every child who read or heard that poem fell asleep dreaming sugary-sweet dreams. The poem always put a smile on my face as I drifted off to sleep.
As I thought about that poem and the thoughts it left dancing in my head night after night, I’m reminded of how our thoughts, particularly those we have just before we go to bed, affect us.
The sights and sounds of our thoughts set alive, live on in our subconscious minds. How many times have you had a bad dream and then wake up confused or frightened, only to realize that the dream was triggered by a scary movie or a negative thought about something or someone?
I have a practice of thinking about the positive things that occurred during the day just before I go to bed. I refrain from watching or listening to scary or negative things on television before bed too.
I’ve found that this practice of thinking of prosperous, fun and fulfilling activities or even the special people in my life bring a smile to my face, just like the poem, the Sugar Plum Tree.
To take it a step further, I whisper prayers of gratitude for each activity of that day, naming each thing or person individually. Positivity breeds more positivity. It’s like adding a cherry to the top of an ice-cream sundae, or in this case a sugar plum.