Paul (he’s got a few – they’re in the bible. True, he is no longer with us, but I have read his letters on a daily basis for years. So, he’s still hip.)
My mom. She writes me every week. Sometimes TWICE a week.
Her letters are with numerous pages (neatly numbered) and often also contain a fluttering amount of small, disconnected clippings from newspapers and magazines. She’s a thought hoarder. And she actually takes out scissors and cuts out things and puts them in manilla file folders and then occasionally takes a folder and dumps it into an envelope, and then sends it to me.
I think she does this to other people. Rumor has it my sisters have received a few letters. I am pretty sure, however, that I have received the MOST. Why? Two theories:
1. Because I am her favorite.
2. Or I need a lot of help and intervention and she frantically writes in desperate hope to get my crazy train back on its track, so to speak.
But I digress.
My mom (the original Momsie) wrote me lately about Christmas, and I wanted to share some of her words with you.
First off, here is something you’ve heard many times from me. Applies to Christmas – or any time which can heighten BUSY-NESS and HURRY. Simply put, as it came to me long ago in a life changing moment:
I can’t imagine Jesus ever being in a hurry.
… Yes I know. I am now “retired.” I have no little children with their demands. (Here she makes a somewhat sarcastic comment about my dad, but I am being kind and leaving that out. That’s how I am. Kind and benevolent at all times. Or, I just don’t want to make him mad.) Plain truth is I like to be busy. Even very busy. I am not always honest with myself about this, and I can be very unrealistic about my expectations of myself. Many many Christmases ago I had to face squarely once and for all that if I grew frantic in my pace to get all the “Christmas stuff” done, and started feeling oh so sorry for myself as fatigue and nervousness interfered that
it was my own fault.
Here’s what my 72 years on this earth have taught me about trying to keep Christmas “simple”:
1. A few presents. Emphasis on few. You’ll not regret it.
2. A tree. Decorated in some basic way. Period.
3. A few special foods. (At our house: A turkey and some balls. The hubs always pleads for chocolate peanut butter balls.)
4. Time. A non-stressed mother who isn’t frantic… try not to get enslaved to a mindset of their whims. God doesn’t always give US what we think we want either. For good reason. Most of us don’t know what we need or want. How can a three-year old?
5. Last of all, be prepared to fail – momentarily – or for a few hours, or a day, or maybe the whole damn (gasp!) season – at keeping Christmas simple. It is hard. The forces of hell are against you! They’re dressed up in elf suits and hiding everywhere… So then maybe the best way to keep Christmas simple is to not try too hard to keep it simple (!). Expect “slips.” Instead of berating yourself, laugh at yourself, and then regain your balance, and just keep going back to numbers 1-3 above…
… You can give gifts to yourself – like deciding (even tho’ you bought the supplies and planned a “cute” Christmas craft to do with the boys) that it is not a good day for that, and that sitting down and reading a Christmas storybook together will do just as well, if not better. Or maybe even just taking a nap together!
… This is longer than I hoped, but maybe not as bad as it could be, given my bent. You probably know most all of this anyway! (Since we both work for the same guy. 🙂
Mostly, I really really do try to remember, celebrate, and honor the One who is the reason for the season in whatever I choose to do or not do. I have the advantage of time and circumstance on my side to avoid hurry. But still there is my temperament of liking to be busy. Fortunately the old body now puts limits on me. So I just occupy my busy mind instead. Like by writing my daughters letters like this.
So, now you see where I get it, huh?
Choose your Christmas. Choose it. And while your at it. Choose Christ. Love and blessings to you this day before Christmas Eve!