‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through my house…..
All of my decorations have been up since before Thanksgiving. I have baked cookies, pumpkin roll and muffins. Christmas music has played in the kitchen, in my car and on my iPod at night while I sleep, so why is under my tree still practically empty? I can remember a time when I had all of the gifts purchased by Thanksgiving and the rest of the shopping was just odds and ends. Not so, this year…I have a long way to go before December 24.
I have surrounded myself with memories from Christmas past, wrapped up in my Momma’s favorite blanket, and reminisced about the times with Hannah’s grandpa. To say that it has been an emotional year is a total understatement. I can’t say that this Christmas has been a “sad” season, it really has not. Of course we are feeling the loss this year, but the people we miss are in safe keeping until we see them again.
I just haven’t had the desire to buy gifts. What do you buy people who have everything they need? How do you surprise someone with things they probably already have? Don’t misunderstand, I love to give gifts.. it’s the difficulty in knowing what to give materially.
Every year we get together and decide that we had not spent enough time in one another’s presence, every year, we vow to do differently. Time. You can’t say that it wasn’t well spent? It just gets spent. People are busy, busy, busy. It doesn’t mean we dislike one another, it just means that we all travel in such different circles during the 365 days prior.
The most frustrating part of the holidays is trying to cram a years worth of catching up into a day. It just doesn’t work that way. Maybe it’s the expectations we put on Christmas itself? Once the day is past, the cheer and well wishing all seems to come to a screeching halt. It’s very disappointing.
It is now exactly one week until Christmas. I am still not finished with the shopping. I will regret it as usual, but it is what it is. I read articles of faith and giving and watch the videos of people being taken by surprise, and my steps get a little lighter. For me it is the Spirit of Christmas that I love the most. People are basically more kind and considerate. They give more, not in gifts but in being the neighbors we should be all year-long. I think this is the let down for me, I find myself apologizing more for not visiting except at Christmas. (I’m taking my own inventory here) Today, I will take cookies as usual to an elderly neighbor, and the visit will more than likely be short, but the genuine fellowship is there regardless. I will make some actual phone calls as usual during this week to catch up with some family and friends. You would think with everyone having free long distance calling these days, I wouldn’t have to wait for the holidays? (more mental inventory here)
Yes, it is only a week before Christmas and I still have plenty to do, but my goal is to make this last week count, and work towards doing better when the New Year rolls around. It’s not a resolution, I don’t make those, but an effort to be a better me in the days to come. I will be rushed, and frustrated with the shopping, I know this before I ever leave the house, but I will try to grasp the good moments that come in between.
Maybe next year….. There will be less procrastination? We’ll have to see about that. For the remainder of the week, I will be wishing that Christmas could last just a few weeks longer…that the feeling of Christmas would not disappear after the New Year.
If you end up shopping on Christmas Eve? my heart goes out to you! Please remember to be kind to those hurrying as you are…don’t disregard the last ringing of the red kettles.. and before the year ends? Be a light for someone on your way whether it be monetary or material..maybe just a gift of encouragement. God still loves a cheerful giver, and you never know who He will put in your path this Christmas.
So I make my way today.. wish me luck or at least your condolences, hoping to make the day count. Looking for unexpected opportunities in the days ahead, and New Year too!