Been thinking a lot about what I want to post this week. I loved all the Thanksgiving Posts. Loved them even more because someone was actually thankful for me. The ‘Oh How I Miss You Blogfest’ was also fun and heartwarming. It’s nice to see and read all of your positive comments about friends, family and especially those who are ‘words on a screen’.
Another blogger mentioned that Thanksgiving is the ‘Gateway to Christmas’ and for that I’m excited. I love Christmas. I love buying and giving gifts. I generally go overboard, but it’s so much fun. I like the idea of trying to figure out what will be meaningful and fun for the recipient. What can I give that will be unique and tell them that I really care. I want them to know that I listen and want to please and excite them with my choices.
Kids are easy, they want everything. I try hard to decipher what is real desire and best fitted to their age, ability and learning, as opposed to who has the slickest ads. With adults it gets harder. Most adults that I know, have the things the really need, so I like to look for something totally frivolous that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. That’s where the fun begins.
But, there is another side to the Christmas Season that is a little melancholy for a lot of us. Christmas is also a time of deep reflection. A time when we miss loved ones who are no longer here, friends who have gone by the wayside and I tend think about those people I ‘let down’ or failed somehow.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid I have a list of people that I have failed throughout my lifetime. People who reached out me in some manner and I was too preoccupied or too selfish to even try to meet their needs. So often all it takes is a little attention to get most folks through a ‘bad time’. Christmas is a time when I think of them. It’s a time when I wonder if there is something more I could do, even now. It’s a time when I pray a lot and try to be better.
Quite a few years ago, I was up late wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I had commercial TV then and some live Christmas Pageant was airing. I was absent mindedly( is this really a word? - oh well, it is now) watching. It began as an angel tells Mary of the divinity of her coming child and ends with the Savior’s Crucifixion. I was a little angry. How dare TV ruin my Christmas Spirit by reminding me of ‘the rest of the story’? At Christmas I’m in a frame of mind where I prefer to think only of the JOY surrounding the event we are celebrating. I stopped wrapping and began contemplating my disappointment. It was then that it hit me (like a ton of bricks, I might add) that the true JOY in the Christmas story is truly only present when we consider ‘the rest of the story’. The love shown to each of us in the giving of the greatest gift. Redemption, if only we accept it. Total and complete unconditional love extended to each and every one of us, if we can abide it. And finally, an example or pattern for us to follow to be worthy of both.
I hope you enjoy giving this Christmas Season as much as I do. I hope you all realize just how much you give to me. Now get out there and start shopping, or start baking, or start making those fun and meaningful gifts for those you love. When someone tells you Christmas should not be about the gifts, it’s gotten too commercial, whatever, whatever. Remind yourself that gift giving is a tiny part of the example set for us at this most important and joyous time of year. And have some fun with it. Man is that he might have JOY.
I’ll be off island next week, visiting the States. Yeowee! I’m excited and a little apprehensive. I’ll wave if I see ya.