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Christmas Day 3: “When I was a kid…………”

My Mom, 1969

Christmas when I was a kid.” Does anyone even care? (What it was like?). I think so, because honestly, I have read stories about the Christmas’s of others, and I totally enjoy them.

When I was a kid, Christmas was a magical time for me. Mom made a lot of different goodies, including, popcorn balls, fudge (2 different kinds) frosted cookies, pinwheel cookies, and sometimes we had peanut brittle laying around.

There were cousins, aunts and uncles who sent packages by mail (grandma’s too) and soon the tree was abounding with colorfully wrapped gifts. We all looked at the Sears Catalogue to dream of what Santa might bring…….

I didn’t teach my kids about Santa, because i remember the disappointment when he didn’t bring quite what I asked him for. I believed, so I thought maybe I was ‘naughty” is why it didn’t happen. I thought maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, and that was why I got peanuts and oranges in my stocking (mostly) and didn’t know til years later that santa’s budget depended on Mom and Dad’s budget, at the time.

Therefore, based on that disappointment, I didn’t teach my children to believe in Santa Claus, I told them it was a nice story and a nice thought, but ultimately Jesus is the reason for the season.

When I grew up, which happened during the process of raising children, I decided Christmas Joy was something I wanted to emmulate. I learned to make the cookies, (and the fudge) as much as I do NOT like or enjoy kitchen duties. I soon found out what a servant heart it takes to pull of this Amazing Holiday. It’s a lot of work, to say the least……

Finding out just how much work it was, made me appreciate my Mom even more, and all she did for us at Christmas time. I had no idea! The shopping, the boxing, the mailing, the goodie-making, the budget-strategy! It took weeks to get it all done and must be started before Thanksgiving……..

The decorating, the Christmas cards, and putting pictures in all of them. (I did it all). In the end It would be over with and I’d say I DID IT! I really did it! Everyone got a gift, everyone got a card……..I made the goodies and did not burn them! Oh How I prayed over Christmas (every year) and rejoiced to get those boxes mailed out before the 15th……

Then came the thank you’s from Mom and friends and the delighted looks on children’s faces……

Now some bad stuff happened yes. I had some who did not appreciate, nor did they reciprocate (yes even with some of my family). My Dad always said “Bah Humbug” at Christmas, which made me very sad……

Christmas reminds me a little of the gospel (not that it can really compare with it) but it’s a reflection of it, in some small way. The lights, the giving, the generosity and the love……and like the gospel, it is not always appreciated or reciprocated….But its’ still important to SHINE!

I want to thank you Mom. Your love for us always shined through at Christmas time, especially. THANK YOU for all you did over the years to make it special! Thank you for the Christian example of serving and giving & loving. Forgive me for the times I didn’t seem as appreciative as i should have.

With love, your daughter,

Laura

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35

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Christmas Mediation day 2: The good the bad and the ugly ….

Let’s pray a minute: “Father bless this day, anoint my words, and help anyone out there who struggles with Christmas to be healed and enjoy it Father! IN Jesus’ name I pray…Amen”

I can remember bad things, or I can remember good things, about Christmas time. There were the gifts we wished for that we didn’t get, and we can remember the happy people, or the crabby ones, it is up to us.

After I visited a festival of trees in Spokane Wa, I decided to up the ante on my tree decorating, and try to do a better job. I had my years of saying “You aren’t here Mom, so I’m gonna glob that tinsel on thick” ha ha ha

And what does Christmas have to do with Jesus, you say? Aren’t we supposed to be studying his word, and growing? Think about that for a moment. How can we grow?

Do we remember the good (About Christmas?) or do we remember the bad? Is Christms about getting our way all the time? Or the perfect “Martha Stewart dinner?”

My son and daughter both wished for the chance to pick things out, so some years I have included gifts cards, while other years, they said “Mom, I’m sorry I’m never going to use this (contraption) you just gave me.”

Barking out statements like “It’s the thought that counts” puts a squash on how people feel. Being rude and saying “I hate this’ is also rather, well, rude to say the least. Why can’t we just tell the truth? hmmm….

I can remember getting stressed out when I was young, trying to keep appointments with older people who had dinner at 1, but my kids were hungry at noon. Trying to beat people into submission to accomodate others, does NOT make Christmas fun. Does it? Perhaps we need to learn how to communicate that……

It’s not fun when people are late to supper, it’s not fun when there are rules and regulations about how Christmas is supposed to be. I think what is cool for me, is that was when my kids were growing up, we were so poor we got a complete Re-set about Christmas. If it wasn’t for God, Christmas would not have happened at all.

And why are those movies so special to people, like the Grinch movie and some others? Because they get across the point Christmas is not about the stuff we get, or the perfect tree, or the perfect holiday dinner.

God loves the stuff that CAN and often does come out at Christmas time. The generosity, the smiles, the singing, the thoughtfulness, and yes THE LOVE that people express in various ways at Christmas time.

So many times I have thought, What if people were like this all year long? Celebrating, Making merry in their hearts, looking for ways to bless others….

(To be continued). PS (It’s six weeks away) ….