Part of my after-holiday traditions is to reread my Christmas cards. I love getting and giving cards all year round but Christmas greetings are special. I’m not sure if it’s the significance of the holiday – The fact that this might be the only time you hear from certain family members or friends – It’s probably a combination of both.
I enjoy looking at them again to remind me of the many people who took the time to share a part of themselves with me during the holiday. It is also a time to reflect on the past year and to look ahead to the new year at hand. Knowing there’s always the possibility that one of these cards might be the last one I’ll ever receive from someone. Which is why I save a select few each year, just in case, but to also find among my books in the coming years so I can revisit the past, to remind me to live in the present and look forward to the future…
Greetings dear friends and family! Thanks to all who shared a kind word this past season, Blessings for good health, happiness and fortune in 2014…
This was a Christmas not unlike Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I was aware of the Spirits of Christmas all through the day. Ironically it started with the falling snow at midnight as Bing and company sang White Christmas; This was my visit from Christmas past, all those evenings after friends and family left and before we went to bed or opened gifts (depending on age) The familiar movie classic played on our TV. Sitting in front of the television while dad sat in “his chair” we’d recite all the “good” parts like we did with all the old movies… I also recalled the Christmas Eve we all went caroling with a portable record player. Then there was the time in nursing school when we visited a classmates elderly widower neighbor and brought him a tree and decorated it with him.
I was brought back to the present with my cats playing with the paper on the beautifully wrapped gifts from students and friends. As I opened each one I felt blessed not by their offerings but their thoughtfulness and love. I looked on my tree at the many ornaments from students from the past and felt blessed by what I choose to do with my life.
When I awoke it was to praise the day and to thank the Lord for all that is and was. I called my mother to wish her a Merry Christmas and thought of a future without that call, and thought Spirit of Christmas Yet To Be is the Spector I fear the most. Not dwelling on the future I returned to the present feeling the sadness of the passing of my dear friend Shirley. Which was somehow lessened by a very special gift from my brother, (Shirley usually gave me something she made like the knitted socks I was wearing). I opened a beautiful handmade afghan like my grandmother would make. When I asked my brother where did he find a Portuguese grandmother in AZ? He laughed and told me he was the grandmother! My brother made me an afghan, apparently he’d taken up crocheting a year ago. So I did get needle work for Christmas.
There were empty place settings at the table. It seems there’s less people each year, but just as much love and joy as ever, and like Scrooge, I kept the three spirits well t0day
All the decorations are put away, the tree is down and the last of it’s needles have been vacuumed. I guess you can say the Christmas Season is officially over (at my house).
However, the attitude can remain – Not the pushy get out of my way, I’m in a hurry sort, but the original intention of peace, and goodwill. I’m going to do my best to keep Christmas in my heart… I’ve placed two small reminders in my house. One is a snow globe music box with St. Nicholas. The other is a small snow globe that was a gift from a friend, which depicts the warmth of friendship.
I believe we can achieve, anything we want as long as we’re willing to give it first. So I may not be going about wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, but have a good day, might be just as nice…
Before the gifting starts and the inevitable returning begins… Let me go on about “Returns.”
These past few days I’ve been returning gifts – Helping my cousin with his internet connections and shopping; In return for walking me to the bus stop and teaching me about cars. Helping my mother decorate her tree and clean her kitchen; In return for making me the woman I am…
I’m sure there will be more “Returns” to all the people who have given me all sorts of special gifts – This will be a pleasure. To return love is the best gift I can give and get…
The “Season of Giving” brings us to all kinds of time honored traditions. Including Re-gifting aunt Margaret’s fruit cake!
Although there are many rules of etiquette from such noted authorities such as Martha Stewart. Here’s a simple “re-gifting” idea, share your unique gifts! By re-gifting or giving your talents, you can make someone’s quality of life better. Can we say the same about aunt Margaret’s fruit cake?
Let this be a season of true giving; and remember what the Beatles said – “You Can’t Buy Me Love!”
Tis’ the season… Yes it’s the season for giving yet the unfortunate thing is most expect something in return. We’ve been conditioned by advertisers to buy, buy and buy so we can give. The problem is we’ve perpetuated a vicious circle of “gifting” that we’ve forgotten why we’re giving – Don’t say it’s Christmas!
We need to find better reasons and better gifts. We can’t just give because we’re expected to every December 25th! What about the remaining 364 days? I suggest keeping the true meaning of the season all year round by giving – No reason. Pay it forward to a stranger, how about a valuable gift like your time to an elderly nursing home patient.
There are as many gifts as there are people… Let’s be creative and give from the heart. It doesn’t even have to be gift wrapped!
As we get closer to Christmas or what ever holiday you may celebrate, we need to be more present. Being aware of all that’s going on around us – Cherishing each moment because they will be gone in the blink of an eye.
For instance, today my stepfather (82 years old) carried my Christmas tree up three flights of stairs. Will that happen next year? The school won a Christmas tree decorating contest in which we had students create the ornaments. Which of those students will be here next Christmas?
The nature of the universe is to constantly change. People are coming in and out of our lives every day. There are always new challenges to overcome. So we often get caught up in the next thing. All I’m saying is the best gift we can give ourselves is “Christmas Presence” create and keep this time because, like the winter’s snow it will soon be gone.