Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A little perspective
It's a crazy time of year.
Between the stuff going on and the people we need to shop for, and the meals to be prepared it's just all much too much and it takes a conscious effort to hang on to the joy of the season, typically...
But let me share some perspective I've found this year. I'd read two novellas by Robin Jones Gunn Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas. In them the main character, Miranda, is the only child of a single mother who died when Miranda was 11. She was then cared for by a friend of her mother's until that woman also died a few years later. Now an adult Miranda's only involvement in Christmas is the office gift exchange every year. There is no decorating, no list of people to buy for, just this one obligatory gift exchange.
And the whole thing opened my eyes to how many people, even in my personal world, that don't do Christmas as I do. They're without children or family or a home to worry about decorating. There's not shopping to do, a party to plan or a big meal to prepare because it's just them this year.
I think of the number of people I know who have lost parents and children this year diminishing their list by one, and how there would be no greater joy for them than to have the chance, one more time, to present their loved one with a gift this Christmas.
The crowds are still massive and the traffic insane but I am a little different now; grateful that I have a reasons to be swallow up in the sea of Christmas shopping humanity. And while it makes the parking no easier, it does make my heart more thankful.
Pray for those who are grieving and reach out to them. Hug your aging parents an extra time this year, and find a way to put an arm around your quickly growing children (although not in public, pleeaze!) call a friend because you can, and may you go into every store, parking lot, grocery aisle, and Christmas gathering more appreciative of the fact that you get to be there.