The countdown to Christmas is almost over and so is my word of the day exercise. It has been really interesting and fun to choose a word each day and think about what I will say. The exercise has also helped me to reflect on Christmas and what it means to us as a family.
When I was young, Christmas was all about gifts and wanting and wishing. I was one of those kids that would think about what I wanted and I would make detailed wish lists. If I am honest, I am still the same way.
The boys, however, are not really this way. It’s not that they don’t have things that they want (because they certainly do want things), they just don’t think about it much and they don’t seem to really long for things. This has made me reflect on the attitude of wishing and wanting.
We have hit a kind of gift “wall” this year. There is nothing that any of us needs and there really isn’t even anything any of us really want, so it has been kind of hard to shop. But, gifting is not about the gift itself, right? In the past couple of years our gifting has transitioned from getting items that we “need” (clothes, socks, tools, etc.) to getting things that we would like to have (books, yarn, paper shredders, etc.). This is new to us because the husband and I both grew up in less than prosperous circumstances, so not needing anything kind of catches us off guard. It feels kind of indulgent to buy things we really don’t need. We made do for so long without them and are we just giving in to the commercialism of Christmas if we buy things for the sake of buying things? Well, as with a lot of things consumer related, there is a balance to all things and I think it has to do with the heart.
As I have thought about what I want this year, I kept coming back to the thought that I really have everything I could want and more. I am more blessed than I ever dreamed I would be when I was a kid, which is not to say that we don’t have struggles, because we do-the same as anyone. It’s just that I never knew how rich life could be when love is the foundation. I know I can wish for things and even want things, but the heart that is content will also be ok without them.
So, this weekend, when we exchange (I know, it doesn’t really start with an x, but I just could not find a xylophone anywhere!) gifts, I hope that we can remember that these gifts are an overflow of the blessings God has given us. Even if we did not have as much materially, I know that we would still be rich–in the same way as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. I think/hope that the knowledge of this will make our exchange of gifts more meaningful.
Our plan for the next few days is to enjoy the time we have together with our friends and family, mostly while we are eating! The boys love this time of year and they really do keep a person Young at heart. Through them, we remember the Christmases of our Youth (the good and the disappointing), we will make new memories of Christmas now, and look forward to the fun of Christmases to come. And, though we do not have a lot of gold, we do have Pandoro, which is I think the best thing I have made this month.
Bread of Gold. It looks plain, but it sure does pack a lot of flavor (there’s a comment I could make about life here, but I’ll skip it. I’ve done enough deep thinking in this post!). Soft and buttery, it almost melts in the mouth.
We will enjoy all this and much more. And when it is all done, I hope to get some Zzzzzzzs!
Thanks for sticking with me in all my varied holiday ruminations. Here is a (maybe) fun recap of the month using my words of the day:
With the Advent of December, the Anticipation of good times to come begins to grow. We get Busy Baking for future Celebrations, all the while keeping in mind the Deadline of the 25th. Extras are indulged in, Fruitcakes are made, Gifts are planned–some are even Handmade! Everywhere we go, the darkness is Illuminated by twinkling lights and bits of Joy spring from them. Kugelhopf and St. Lucia buns remind us that Christmas is a Multicultural affair. The cookies get Nutty (and so do we!). Ornamental decorations are brought out. Three recipes of Panettone and a Quince paste are made just for fun. The Radiant candles make Stollen and Toffee taste better, but the Unfinished projects cast a shadow just 5 days before C-Day. Variety makes the holiday, the gingerbread houses, and the cookie plate more interesting. All Wanting and Wishing is left behind when we Exchange our gifts of love. The Youth provide the magic of making everyone Young for a moment and when everything is done, sweet Zzzzzs complete the day.