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‘Tis the season……

Filed under: Life and living it by speedy @ 4:24 pm | Comments (0)   

Ahhhh December. I can’t believe another year is coming to an end. The family has been passing around “The Cold” and blaming each other for starting it. Unfortunately some of us have it for the second time already… Bah Humbug.

Speaking of Bah Humbug…. Christmas is not my favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept that it’s Jesus’ birthday and enjoy all the beautiful decorations and roaring fire in the fireplace. The family tradition of baking lots and lots of cookies to share with family and friends makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, not to mention fat, well… fatter actually! Yep, I’m all about tradition and thoroughly enjoy the hours it takes to put out all the nativity scenes we’ve collected over the years on the sideboard.  My husband and I make a big deal about blowing out the lights on the tree each night before bedtime. I look forward to Christmas Eve dinner at my folks while reminiscing about Christmas’s past.  No one sings louder and longer than I do about Winters wonderland and that blessed Oh Holy Night. What ruins it for me is the overabundance of emphasis placed squarely on gift giving. I know, I know…. December probably wasn’t even when Jesus was really born and now they are saying he may not have even been born in Bethlehem. I have no problem with any of that. My faith allows me to accept those little inconsistencies. But come on, Christmas is suppose to be about the birth of Christ and the miracle of his conception and the glory of the season, but it’s not of course. It’s the gemmie time of year. Oh would I love to see a complete turn around that would reflect what Christmas is really all about.

Just like any birthday the honoree’s day is special. They are showered with gifts and usually a party is thrown with all kinds of fun planned for everyone. Our family is big on birthday parties… as well they should be. Birthdays are a happy time. We ask what the birthday boy/girl would like for presents.. what kind of theme they want to celebrate that year, what’s their favorite flavor of cake and ice cream etc. etc. What I don’t understand is why I would get a gift on someone else’s birthday??? Makes no sense to me.

Sure there’s stuff I’d like to have but I can buy those things myself or wait until June 22nd. It’s no wonder we are all so stressed out during the holidays… instinctively we know the rush to give and get is just wrong. It’s Jesus’ birthday. Do we ask what Jesus wants? Not cigars from BevMo or a leopard print cell phone skin or fifty dollar Transformers. We know what Jesus wants. It’s no secret. We don’t have to ask. Okay, the argument that this is when retailers make 40% of their profits for the year just doesn’t sit well with me. Actually I spend more through out the year on gifts than I do at Christmas… and I think if people really stopped and thought about it they would realize they do too. I find it hard to believe anything the media tells us. Surprise, surprise!!

What about Santa Claus you say? My question exactly? Where did that fat guy come from? I believe he started out as Saint Nicholas who was a gift giver. What happened??? Sounds like we were on the right track way back when. Somehow we got derailed and parents try every year to get that train of thought back on track. Twenty-five, thirty years ago I tried to keep our family on track and emphasis the importance of the season. For several years we even had a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. The kids ate it up and have become community minded adults and generous with those less fortunate especially at Christmas time. I’m very proud of them. Somehow we get caught up in the whoopla and begin to lose sight as life goes on. You’d have to live in a cave to escape the bombardment of the commercialism that explodes all around us each year while trying to keep separate the true meaning of “Christmas” from Christmas.

Now I have another chance to keep that meaning alive with the next generation. Last year our grandchildren were too young to understand but this year while looking through a Toys R Us Christmas catalog they began pointing to several things on every page. After awhile we started to talk about that little price tag next to each item. They are 5 and 3 years old and don’t have the concept of what things cost or what a dollar’s worth especially since their parents use plastic to pay for everything. Gotta get those points at the end of the month when you pay off the balance!! Not a bad idea economically but it doesn’t lend itself to those tender teaching moments that define our very core.  My grand kids don’t have the opportunity to handle cash like we did. Let’s face it there was nothing more fun than meeting your grandparents at The International House of Pancakes and having grandpa pick you to pay the bill. He’d hand over the check and some money after breakfast, you’d walk to the cash register paying with real money and bringing the change back only to sit awhile longer discussing the importance of adding another dollar or two for the tip (more or less depending on a job well done with another opportunity to pass on solid work ethics and an appreciation for the working class.) So I tried another route this year and pulled out the Heifer International Catalog and we started to compare prices between a remote control car for $75.00 and a trio of rabbits for $60.00, a play kitchen for $110.00 and a sheep for $120.00.  We talked about how the eggs from chickens can be shared with neighbors or sold for seeds and medicine, how they fertilize and scratch up the ground so those seeds can grow into more food that can be eaten or sold for clothing. My grandson’s eyes went from that glassily “I want this, this and this” kinda stare to the beginnings of a clearer understanding of value and the true meaning of giving. He became excited once he began to grasp the reality of what a gift can do for hungry families. He understands that he can make a difference and others will benefit so much more from livestock and training than he could after getting another toy he’ll fuss about having to put away and has no room for anyway. It made sense since he loves Jesus and knows Christmas is about Christ’s birth. This year he and his sister choose to give one of their gifts from grandma and grandpa to people who need it with a donation in their names for a flock of chicks… next year they can chose another, making it a family tradition and then some day when they ask Grandma Speedy what she wants for Christmas I’ll tell them to keep the real meaning of Christ’s birth alive and give a gift in my name to someone who really needs it. Just don’t forget my birthday in June.

Happy Birthday Jesus  =]

Side Blog

Exploring the links will tell you alot about what makes me purrrrr... I won't be putting up a BIO, you wouldn't believe me anyway. I will confess that words are a passion for me, thus the lyrics link, so I will be adding quotes or bits and pieces of songs that make my heart sing and you are welcome to take and use anything that moves you. I've probably swiped them from somewhere anyway... so enjoy.

Embrace this moment... Remember we are eternal... All this pain is an illusion.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardners who make our souls blossom"~Marcel Proust

“Grief shared is half grief. Joy shared is double.” ~ Proverb

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken."~Albert Camus

"A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory."

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."~African Proverb