Friday, December 17, 2010

Once A Year Is Not Enough

And so this is Christmas....

Some stores started holiday displays in August. Others waited, for a week or two.

 We're inundated daily with newspaper ads, flyers, catalogs, commercials & emails. There seem to be a lot of people/businesses counting on this season to put them in the 'black'.

I don't have a problem with Christmas gifts. I've always gone with the idea that we do it in similitude of the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus and to show our love to friends and family. But sometimes the bigger and better thing, the more, more, more?

Umm, not so much. It is getting to be a bit too much for me.

I find myself wondering what happened to the daily appreciation of things that are done for us. Freshly laundered socks in our drawers, a path shoveled thru the snow to the barn, someone who shows up early and stays late. The garbage that is taken out without having to be nagged about it. The folks who, even tho it's not their job, are always there to help, or do a little extra, or share your burden.

I'm thinking that if we really wanted to celebrate Christs' birth we would make ourselves of service, daily. Didn't have time to help anyone today? Okay, tomorrow.

We don't have to be everything to everybody, but there is a lot that we can do for others and if they caught the spirit? And felt the need to pass it on...


Just imagine the difference it would make. In our family, in our community, in our country, and if everyone pitched in - in the world.

This has been a busy month for me. Not because of shopping but because I know several people who have had challenges in their lives and really need others to let them know that someone cares.

Wednesday, for example, I worked and ran the regular route then came back in to find extra packages that needed delivering. Technically it wasn't my problem, but someone needed to do something about it.  I had things I wanted to do but I spent the next two hours making sure people got their Christmas presents instead. After that I knew a friend who could probably use a little help but would never ask. I called her and told her I had a spare hour and could I help with her project? She gratefully accepted and three hours later I broke away to rescue The Youngest who was 30 miles away at his swimming practice. By the time I got home the horse was surely thinking about biting me when I finally fed her, and when I was thru tidying up the house and ready to go to bed I almost jumped in fear when I saw the creature who was looking back at me from the mirror.  My hair was pasted to my head from sweat, my makeup was smudged, there were dark circles under my eyes, my clothes, which I'd not had time to change after work, were splattered with mashed potatoes, my legs were cramping from running, bended & rushing to and fro. Hay was stuck to my shoulders. I was a mess.

It was glorious.

I'm no saint. There are days when I'm a total slacker, but I hope I'm always up to lending a hand, and more than that, looking for opportunities to make a difference and not just for my family. Although, I have to admit, that the next time The Commander buys a house, with 6 tons of garbage in the back yard, ummm...yeah, I'm thinking hiring a backhoe will be the way to go.

Meanwhile, I like tinsel and shiny things, but I'm thinking most of us need to remember that there are old folks who are lonely in February, children who are hungry in March, yards that need to be mowed in May and people who just love cookies anytime you can get around to baking them.

We can make a difference.

So we might want to save some of the money we'd spend on something frivolous in December and send it to - say...Africa and make sure a couple of little girls who don't have a chance in hell of facing anything other than poverty and life as second class citizens have a shot, (no guarantees) but at least a shot at having opportunities their mother, and many other women in 3rd world countries, can only dream about.

There is always a rush at Christmas time to do good deeds, have food drives etc. To me, sometimes, it's almost like the people who go to church on Sunday, praise God, but on Monday their attitude is "Church is church, business is business." Then you watch as Sunday's good Christian turns into a snake oil salesman for the rest of the week...

Christmas is wonderful, but...

I'm thinking once a year is not enough.

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