Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Letter #2

Sometimes you just need to write another Christmas Letter.

I've been protected all my life.  Protected from abuse and anxiety and ugliness.

I think that's just being lucky.

I have friends who have not been so lucky and it's a bit difficult to get a grip on how God passes that around.

Christmas is more than lights and jingle and joy.  It, for me, is a time to think about stuff, reflect, A time to remember and plan for the future magic that the season can bring.  A time to believe that there is an Almighty God who gives a rip.

But, keeping spirits high in the midst of pain and anxiety?  I know too many people who are struggling. Struggling with children, struggling with memories, with health, tragic loss of friends, with finances and relationships.  These people are good and loving people.  Where does Christmas come in with them?  How can I jingle, jingle, jingle when there's so much pain? How can I spout my belief in the promise of Baby Jesus when I see so much that brings me to disbelief?

My teacher friend always asks me to help with her children's Christmas program.  I practice with them a few times and then we perform.  They always do more for me than I for them.  Their sweet faces and grand efforts at doing what I ask to make their performance great always touches me.

It's somewhere between living life daily and the magic that comes with moments with children that the light comes on.  Moments with children.  Here we go again,,,that does it for me.

It's the kids.  We do it for the kids.  And. when we do it for the kids, we do it for ourselves.  So, get around some kids and make some magic for them.  Music, gifts, kindness.  Make some joy.  You will find yourself full.  Full of joy and full of gratitude that life has promise and you can be a part of making that happen.

We are the modern Magi.  We are the ones who bring the gifts to the Christ Child.  And the Christ Child is everywhere;  the homeless, the helpless, the needy, the challenged, the grieving and the protected.  Even the protected need the Christ Child for without the promise of something better, where would we be?

Friday, December 2, 2016

My Christmas Letter

This is my Christmas letter.  Today I sold a nativity set at the shop.  She also bought a Santa.  Sweet woman.  She shopped carefully for a Santa that was smiling.

 We have no idea how our actions affect the ones around us.  This shopper made an impact on me.  I carefully wrapped each piece of the nativity making sure not to break the fine fingers of the porcelain figures, and gently placed baby Jesus on the very top.  We both agreed that was where He belonged.  And then she left with her bag.  Almost gone, she turned around and said, "I would like that Santa.  He's smiling."  Once again, I wrapped her purchase carefully and she tucked him in her nativity bag.
That's it for me.  Carefully selected, carefully wrapped and tucked in with a smiling Santa.  It just does it for me.  Get God first, make sure He's protected in your heart and then gather whimsy and joy and make merry.

Dad would go out in the pasture and chop down a small cedar, bring it in the house and we'd call it Christmas.  How simple life once was.  A little ole pasture tree, some home strung popcorn and a few songs on the piano.  But, just like the bag that walked out of the shop today, along with it was Baby Jesus and a smiling Santa.

I need to remind myself daily, hourly, moment by moment, that life is as good and as simple as I choose to make it.  Reflecting on my blessings I almost burst.  Looking at my dreams, I almost explode, and believing that I can tuck it all away in a small red bag with a smiling Santa nestled in with the Almighty God Himself just makes me melt in a puddle of Christmas joy.

I have friends in great need, struggling to make sense of burdens put upon them, I myself am struggling with major decisions, the stuff of life has piled high in places I would never have believed, but as I go through this next phase of the life I have been given, I will remind my self that I can make it simple for myself and those I love.  Joy comes when I least expect it, with the Almighty God always with me, a smile and a simple pasture tree.  Christmas is in the knowing.