Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ahhhh, The Joy of Christmas...

is silently over, even though in my heart I'm not quite ready to let go of the spirit of Christmas. Sigh. I hesitate to begin taking down the decorations and the tree, still desiring to bask in the glow from the tree, the warmth of the candles, if only for "just one more night!" {So what, if I've been telling myself that for the past several days, LOL! } The same "last several days" that we've done as little as possible and only what was necessary, falling out quietly in the aftermath, reminiscing over the events it all.

Don and I actually had a really great Christmas this year, even though $$$ was tight and we were only able to purchased presents for a select few of those who mattered the most to us. This was another year that we didn't go overboard purchasing presents for one another since we purchase what we each need throughout the year and add in the "wants and desires of our hearts" when its possible to do so. We gave what we could afford to give and we weren't alone in that endeavor. Many of our family members faced the same dilemnas, not just the financial factor, but the stress that starts with searching for the "perfect gift" for someone special and surprisingly, we discovered that many of our family members and friends actually desired to keep Christmas "simple" this year, too. It was a really nice and pleasant change!

So, we shared our company, our companionship, our time, and smiles from our hearts with one another. We retold stories of the past, spoke kindly of family members who are no longer with us, remembering them fondly for the contriubutions they've made in assisting us become the people we are today. We spoke and remembered the "simplier" time in our families lives, not that those times were actually any "simplier" but they were treasured, cherished, and appreciated more. We spoke words of kindness and praise for the members of our families who couldn't be with us this year and kept them close in our hearts and in spirit. It was really a good reminder for us of what is truly important as we journey through our lives and it reminded me to make the days as simple and special as possible for Alexxis --- for one day these will be the memories that she'll treasure and cherish the most.

Last night, while I was curled up on the couch in my jammies, wrapped in a fleece covered throw that was a handmade Christmas gift from my sister, Mary, a few years ago, these were the thoughts running through my mind. To be grateful for those who fill us up, who warm our hearts and fill our souls with the truly good things in life. the things that truly matter the most, like honesty, integrity, showing kindness, sharing love, who reach out with not only their hands but their hearts. And I prayed that I, myself, may be that person to someone else. That I offer my gifts, talents, and inspire someone just as so many others have inspired me. After sitting silently, reflecting, reminscing, thinking, considering, and pondering these things in my heart, I offered up another prayer of gratitude and praise to God for showing me and sharing these things with me. A while later, I began thinking about what my gifts and talents actually are and wondered how can I share them? Somewhere along the way, doubts and uncertainties began to creep in the dark, deep, creavices of my mind, all the "what if's" and then a surprising thing happened. I suddenly realized that if I allowed all those "what if's" into my life, that they'd rob me, my heart, and my life of all the joy that God has to offer to me, to us, to our family and friends. I felt as if I'd just opened the most expensive gift that money could buy! And as I sat there in the stillness of the night, I heard a still, small voice inside of me whisper,

so I created myself a reminder to share with all of you. This will become yet another link in my gratitude chain, an ongoing project in the years that lie ahead.

1 comment:

liannallama said...

thanks again for your beautiful words of peace and wisdom! And if you want to celebrate longer--many people wait until Epiphapany on Jan 6 to dismantle Christmas! That is the traditional day that the 3 Kings arrived to see Jesus.