The Face Of Christmas
When I look at Christmas’ past faces, they have been unique unto themselves ~ that is, very little tradition involved.
There is a season for everything and young years are full of anticipation, first for Santa and then as we leave our childhood behind, the possibility of being that Santa for someone special.
As we grow older holidays sometimes are feared because it seems that there is no special reason to celebrate; or there is no one with whom to celebrate.
This past Thanksgiving was fraught with tears and sorrow because three years ago, a loved one went on to their heavenly abode. We, who have hope in our hearts of meeting the Savior whose birth we celebrate at Christmas and while knowing we will again be reunited with that loved one, still have the ache of losing an important part of our family group and the empty chair is a throbbing reminder.
But there is always a new generation to brighten our eyes and move our hearts to put forward an effort to celebrate. For the children’s sake, we say, not realizing that the celebration is to uplift our spirit as well.
The past several years have been hard hitting financially for most; some will need to cut back a little in spending while others say ‘What spending? I don’t have enough to pay my utilities! Or, I have no one to share anything with anyway.’
Money we had hoped to spend for presents went to buy safety for our family; new brakes for the family car. We thank God the money could be directed towards this because our area requires the use of a car; there is very little in the way of affordable public transportation.
We have had bountiful years, moderate years, and like this year, barely making it but this season calls to the spirit to find a way. Re-gifting has become popular with all usually as a way of getting rid of something we don’t like but have you thought of giving something you value to someone who needs or wants that object? Or thrift store shopping that can net a bounty for pennies on the dollar? My children went through stages on their thoughts of thrift store purchases. When very young it was an acceptable concept. In their teens, an abhorrence.
One year when they were still young, no new toys were to appear under the tree but shopping the local thrift store produced some ‘new toys’ to them.
Our middle son wanted to know what Santa would bring since he surmised we were buying toys probably because they were hidden in the bags put into the trunk. We discussed the busyness of the season and that we had arranged to send the toys off to Santa’s elves who were going to refurbish what we picked out instead of starting from scratch with building these same items.
That seemed to be a sensible answer and if the boys had disappointment at getting ‘second hand goods’ it was not apparent in their joy when opening or playing with those toys.
That story came to mind in this season again as we walked through one of the larger thrift stores in search of treasures for the youngest sons’ children and his delight in finding a toy for his son that was not affordable to him even at the local Wal-mart but here that wanted toy was found in ‘new condition’ for 1/5th the price.
For the price of one new toy, presents were ’found’ for eight receivers who will welcome them because each item was seized upon with care and deliberation for each particular person in mind.
This too will be a year of making gifts to accompany an item or be the gift in itself. When my bank teller was told I was to make Cranberry Relish and Zucchini bread as gifts she said she would love to receive Zucchini bread but no one baked anymore. She will get a loaf this year because I will stay and attend to the baking while the ‘gifts’ are cooking and she, though she is unaware of it, is an important person in my life.
I am thankful we have the small amount needed to buy these supplies to make these gifts of love to share.
Medical concerns this year make us unable to open our home to entertain or go to others who have no one to share this holiday. A great gift is received by the giver of their time with singing or reading to a group or individual who has outlived their family. This year we cannot receive that gift. This is our present Christmas.
Our future Christmases will bring lack or abundance but our joy in celebrating will be in giving our Savior’s love that He has instilled in our heart to give everyday but which is accepted more readily during this season of observing His birth.