Sunday, December 30, 2007
The look on the face says it all! I just couldn't wait for Christmas day with Patrick. I knew he was going to be so into it.
After muffins and reading from the big old family Bible (we determined it was presented to my husband's great grandparents about 100 years ago), we had our gifts. We really enjoyed our Christmas morning, and his new train. We spent the rest of the day with family, eating and opening gifts.
Christmas is always a day to look forward to. Christmas is always a day I'm glad ends well too. When it's over I like to review and write it all down, and think about what I'll buy for gifts next year. But mostly it comes down to being together with people. That for me is Christmas. If we didn't have one gift this year, but could be with my family and that was it, I would have been happy. I saw a news headline last week that said, "Parents feel guilty not being able to buy Christmas gifts". I know there have been times when I felt bad that I couldn't buy as much as I wanted to, but now I'm used to it and choose to buy less. I had to shake myself silly that year and say, "Hey, now what's it all really about?" It was freeing to realize that it didn't matter if I couldn't buy huge gifts for everyone and that it would be ok.
I feel there's a very sad gap in our culture for a lot of folks. This gap is partly created by the belief that our world and lives are only about the material things we can possess. The spiritual side of life is lacking for many people. This affects how some people approach Christmas, and I feel makes those struggling to make ends meet feel even worse about a holiday that's about hope, joy, and eternity!
With oil prices so high and the generally bad economy, I really fear for people who are desperately trying to just meet the basics on limited incomes. Some people are turning to crime, some are suffering quietly. Where is their hope? Whether it's no presents under the tree or needs for food, warmth and clothes, I pray that the hope I have in God causes me to not only count my blessings, but share my blessings in practical and spiritual ways with people who are lacking.
It's my wish that each of us with the hope of God living in us will be aware of people around us who are struggling to live, not just not have any presents this Christmas, and give them something more to hope for than a full tree for next year, that is the promise of spiritual rebirth that came wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.