Christmas is approaching. Just in case you weren’t aware. I’ve gone shopping once to get toys for small children. I haven’t bought much of anything. I haven’t decorated yet. I have a few things out. And every time I step in the hallway my eyes are drawn to the simple stand of a primitive Santa Claus. If I had fully decorated by now I wouldn’t even be noticing it. I have been so busy with people that I haven’t had time for “things”. I don’t mind. It seems to be appropriate. During this busy-ness of living I have wondered about how I see things differently. How I view and anticipate this time of year has changed. This time of year makes many of us very contemplative. Or is that just me? I don’t think it is, but okay, we’ll go with me. I’d like to think we all get a bit emotional, or sappy. But if it is just me that’s okay too. In no particular order I’ve tried to put some thoughts together. Just so you know what I hope for, think of, and try to accomplish. Because surely what I think, feel and ponder is of the utmost importance to you. Right? Humor me. “Right!” (they all shout back at their computers).
I want to celebrate the love and fellowship of one another.
I want to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus, and thank those who respect our beliefs and celebrate with us. (Remember the Jewish fellow that learned a new job every year so he could give a Christian the holiday off because he would work for him? That’s the kind of love Jesus is.)
Celebrate the rush and crunch of having so many people you love, in your life, that you get to spread your holiday out over a period of weeks to be able to spend special time with the special people in your lives.
Appreciate the homes, jobs, and responsibilities we have. The responsibilities that we have to tend to that give us the things in life we enjoy.
Appreciate having to work hard at giving, going and doing.
Appreciate the ability to walk in to a grocery store and buy a holiday meal, or a prepackaged food tray for yet another holiday party someone begged us to attend because they like us. That is something to appreciate!
Appreciate the crazy, and the stress, that this time of year produces in all of us. Some more than others.
Understand that when I say I don’t need anything … I really mean that there is nothing you can buy me that would make me happier about my life. Nothing. Know that a moment you spend thinking about me, and writing me a letter or card telling me what I mean to you, that would mean the world to me. I can’t take the $49.99 gift you got me at Target with me in the end. But I can take the love and importance I was to your life with me everywhere, yes, even in the end. I’ve got a bit of a needy streak in me. And you spending your valuable life time writing down how you feel about me, or resharing with me a laugh we shared together…that would mean love and friendship. It would be valued by me. Because you value(d) me my life is enriched.
If I get you a gift, it is yours to do with as you wish. You don’t like it? I hope you can find someone who does. I hope it makes you laugh that I could have absolutely no idea what to get you. If you throw it away, that’s okay too. The gift is not what matters. It’s what is between you and I, that matters to me. If I get a gift wrong (count on it) then please feel free to humor me and pretend to love it. Or humor me and ask what in the world was I thinking! Or try to figure out what I was thinking. I will be honest with you, chances are good that I can’t find you a quality gift because there is no gift that can speak to you about how I feel about you. So I will likely fail someone(s) when I give my gifts. My brain and my heart don’t work well together when it comes to gift buying. I just can’t do it. I think of someone and think of time and times and there is nothing in a store that fulfills that vision for me, when I think of you. Be prepared. And ….sorry.
Isn’t this time of year great for reflecting on our pasts? For reliving our childhood moments and compare them to what we do and where we are, now. In the reflecting notice the changes, the differences and being able to miss what was. But not lose what matters now. And live in the moment with the glow of the past a wonderful mosaic of music, sounds and shadows to play in the background of our lives.
What a wonderful time for those memories. I think of my father and the fun he had shopping for Christmas. I had to be a certain age before I was a part of that. And when I started shopping for my own children, I often reflected on those shopping moments with my dad. And mom’s cookie baking and freezing. My childhood created fondness for frozen cookies. Good, good, memories. Waking up with my siblings and standing on the staircase for a picture. Hotwheels on the orange track all laid out in the kitchen at 3 a.m. Things that I can’t recreate today. But things that I have any time I want just by the thinking of it.
I want to create for my children and my great children moments of now, for them to reflect on later. I want to live in moments now. With others. For others. For myself. I want to be part of now so that I can be part of other’s reflections decades from now. I want to matter to them then, by sharing my love now.
Love me regardless of what I do to fail you. Now is the time to let go. Accept my humility and acknowledgement of my failings.
Expect me to laugh at the things I don’t get about you. Because I love you. And because the silly things that don’t matter really don’t matter. Unconditional, to me, means that I will love you because you are.
Love the turmoil, the crazy, and the frustrations. Think of what life would be without the turmoil, the crazy and the frustrations. Quite boring. And lonely. To wish away the frustrations would be to wish away people. And that really isn’t worth it.
I hope for peace. Peace in our hearts. Peace of mind. Peace in our world.
And to whom this may concern, I hope that what matters to you fills your season with love, peace, creation, appreciation, memories and cookies.
I hope for you, above all, a hopeful life.
And true gifts to fulfill your life.
With the things that really matter.
And the things that you can carry with you and take with you forever.