in the past, i’ve blogged every day in november.
i don’t know if you noticed, but….i kinda had a “31 days fail” event this past october. so i won’t be repeating that mistake this november!
but i do love blogging during this season…the cozy thanksgiving days, the solace found in Advent’s hopeful waiting, and the joy of Christmas. before we get into this season’s crop of thanksgiving, advent, and christmas posts, i have a huge admission to make:
the christmas season makes me anxious.
don’t get me wrong: i love everything about christmas. except the presents. if we could be just as joyous about christmas without the pressure of the perfect gift, and making our children happy (based purely on material things), i would enjoy the season so much more. why can’t we enjoy the music, the christmas shows, the stories of sugarplums and love-coming-down, of christmas cookies, and waiting for the christchild without the big ripping apart perfectly good paper, and gazing upon shiny new…things.
last christmas, my littlest threw a tantrum in the biggest way during our extended family christmas present opening. i was mortified because it felt as though all eyes were directed on me and how i taught him to view what was underneath the shiny wrapping paper. perhaps our parental lessons about the reason of christmas (giving to others of ourselves) backfired? i have no idea what went wrong (well, i know what happened: he was 4, and the spirit of the “season-of-getting” got to him…and i still feel i am to blame). i don’t know how to approach this season again. so…i’m dreading it.
i used to love receiving gifts, and i still love the act of giving gifts. but what if i changed everything up one christmas, and gave…something else? what if i gave my time, my resources, my hard work?
if someone were to gift me this christmas, i’d love it most of all if it were something given to someone who needs something. i need nothing right now. i love spending time with family and friends, good conversation, a great run with good music blaring in my ears. these are all things i enjoy so often…i don’t need anything else! so how can i convince you to give to someone else besides me?
here’s what is on my wishlist this christmas:
- another “penpal” (this is what we call our friend Ayeko from Uganda) from Food for the Hungry or Compassion International.
- buy a family a flock of chickens, honeybees, ducks or goats so they can make a living, or eat homegrown food at Heifer International.
- help me by finding a local retirement home and visit (with our family) once a month a lonely a resident with our family. let’s commit to visit a home and spend some time talking to the residents. i’ve wanted to do this with the boys for so long, and it’s time to actually DO IT.
so…who is with me to revolutionize christmas this year in baby steps? we can do it bit by bit each year. and in a few years, after our slow, revolutionary changes that we’re making in our families, Christmas will once again be about the birth of a Savior, and not about black friday. perhaps we will truly know REAL JOY and completely elliminate the stress of the season.
please leave in the comments a near and dear to your heart ministry or organization that serves the meek, those who mourn, the merciful. i’d love to be able to get the word out of places that need our christmas money.
because i don’t need another article of clothing, or dish for my cupboard.