'Tis the season for giving, receiving, sharing, decorations, lights, and Christmas music. Yes, I know some people believe it's the season for shopping, scrambling, frenzy, and madness. However, perhaps we should relax a bit and really examine the Christmas season.
First of all, what does this season really mean? It represents the birthday of Jesus Christ; notice I said represents, not is. More than that, the season represents the characteristics of Christ: love, sharing, giving, fellowship, kindness, and celebration.
We need to show love not only to those who are lovable; that's easy. We also need to love those who may not be so lovable. Perhaps someone has hurt us. Yes, I've had many painful encounters with other people, a few recently, but I MUST forgive and have no harsh feeling for those people. No, they won't care, but I will benefit, and doing so is right.
We can share without bankrupting ourselves in money, time, or energy. Our town has the Hope Center, where those less fortunate can receive help. I give donations of can goods, toys, and nearly-new clothes, since I don't have the funds to give money or new clothing. I remember a time when our family received formally-owned clothes and were thrilled.
Giving doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. Maxing credit cards to give elaborate gifts can be a nasty gift to give one's self. People who really "like" us accept what we can give and understand what we can't. Some families draw names so that one person doesn't have to buy gifts for everyone else. Some families give gifts to people who have little rather than give expensive gifts to each other. Others give the children in the family gifts and maybe small tokens to the adults. There are so many ways to "give" and not add to the madness of the world around. Gifts can be of time, services, or other non-buyable types.
Fellowship is a large part of Christmas, being with friends and family. Someday, for Christmas, all my family will be together. Another kind of fellowship is to remember those who has lost a loved one or loved ones at Christmas. A card, a note, a phone call can help, not only for the first Christmas after a loss, but also afterwards.
A little touch of kindness goes a long way. During our rough time (some day it will end), people offered to help. Even though few actually did, just knowing people cared enough to want to help helped. Having a person open a door when one has his or her arms full is an inexpensive kindness. Kindness does not have to cost one penny.
Celebration can range from enjoying Christmas music (one of my favorite parts of Christmas) and Christmas lights (even if we can't put up lights of our own, we can enjoy those other people do) and carolers and Avent services and family/friend get-togethers. We can celebrate in our hearts, knowing that the season of peace can be filled with celebrations that don't include wildness and excess.
I celebrate having a husband who loves me, warts and all. I celebrate having a family filled with children and children-by-marriage, grandchildren and grandchildren-by-marriage, and great-grandchildren. I celebrate having friends. I celebrate having wonderful authors, illustrators, editors, proof readers, and other staff, current and past.
Thank you for being a part of my life.
4RV Publishing website
4RV Bookstore -- remember 4RV has an ongoing book sale. Prices will remain cut until Dec. 20, but orders made after Dec. 5 can't be guaranteed to be delivered before Christmas.