Saturday, December 19, 2009

....And To All A Good Night!

I can't believe as I sit here this evening that Christmas is Friday. How can that be? I remember one Christmas when Jim and I were first married and I was working retail we had every gift purchased, wrapped and under the tree before Thanksgiving. Now that I can look back over the last 6-8 weeks I probably should have adopted that practice this year before I started my new job. The time has flown by and it completely caught me unprepared for Christmas.

Jim has introduced me to some churches, pastors, laymen (okay, I don't really know who all movement includes) that are trying to get us (Americans) to rethink Christmas. What if we really embraced a spirit of giving of ourselves and not so much the giving of only material things? I can't imagine a Christmas where my daughter isn't excited by some great toy or gadget, but I will have to tell you that she couldn't even really make me a list this year. What does that say about me as a parent? Does she really have a life of no wants? What can I give her that will really mean something?

As I go through the the next year surrounded by a community of people who really have needs, I'm hoping to discover a better way to celebrate Christmas next year. These people are trying to better themselves but fall back into old traps. Women trying to go back to school but can't make rent because they can't work if they accept monetary assistance to go to school. Men who have criminal records and can't find a place to live because no one wants to take a chance on former criminal. People who walk everywhere they go, not because they are supporting green lifestyle, but because that is their only choice. People who crave a kind word. People who come in everyday just because it's a safe place to be for a little while.

I don't have a plan, but I have a desire. I don't know what the solution is, but I see the problem everyday. I hope the Lord lays a really good vision on me so next year when I am only six days from Christmas I know that I have done my best to make it meaningful for those whom I love and for those who don't really know love.


  1. For me this year, it was the "six-day" remdel, that should have been done by Thanksgiving and instead went into the second week of December, and the not having my desktop for a MONTH that has thrown my into a tailspin. Like you, I am normally super-organized and have things prepared way in advance, in the hopes we can spend the weeks leading up to Christmas doing some meaningful things as a family. This year, things were so hectic that although I took names off the Angel Tree, and "adopted" a needy family from the school, I was rushed and didn't even take the kids with me to buy the gifts. I didn't have time to let them wrap, either. I just did it all myself because I was in a hurry ... what kind of message did that send my kids? Kindness is all fine and good, but hurry up and get it over with???

    Alisa's Red Envelope series has inspired me to do better next year. To have all the necessary stuff done much further in advance so we can have more quality time as a family, and hopefully find a way to make a difference.

    Like you, there is really nothing my kids need ... but we all need to be reminded this time of year is NOT just about the gifts to our family. (sigh)

  2. Ditto! This Christmas can I suggest we exchange the Smith gifts after Christmas? We could combine it with Mom's birthday. Next year, maybe as a family we could do something in the name of someone who actually needs something.