We are sometimes just too busy, specially this time of year. It seems that every year there is more to do as well, which adds to the busyness of our lives.
We need to get back to the basics of why we really celebrate Christmas. It’s not about all the glitter, tinsel and gifts that we exchange. It’s not about driving ourselves crazy cooking and cleaning for get-togethers.
I saw a few posts talking about different ways to change your Christmas traditions. One of those was, instead of exchanging presents between each other, buy presents and take them to someone at a nursing home, a shut-in or go out and find a homeless person on the street.
Most of us have too much and our children certainly don’t need anything else as they get things throughout the year. Seems such a tragedy when you think about someone who doesn’t even have a roof over their head. It has gotten to the point where children have received such extravagant gifts over the years, that you are about having to get a large loan to buy them the next big or new thing. People, it should not be that way.
Think about the Christ child. No room in an inn. It was cold, dark and the smell of animals was in the air. His crib was most likely a trough for the animals, perhaps made of concrete or maybe wood. A stable is not a clean environment; certainly not somewhere we would want to give birth to one of our children.
A humble, lowly beginning without comfort. At least what we would consider comfort. Perhaps that is where we need to start changing our attitude — our perspective of things.
I have started to pare down things at home. As I said, we have too much, too many things. You cannot take any of these with you when you die and many of them really do not add value to your life.
I mean really, do most of us need another pair of shoes, another gadget? With the emphasis on “need” here, I would say no. No wonder many children think every time they go into some kind of store, they are supposed to get something. Sadly, many parents add to this by always buying them something every time they go to a store. Shame on them. They have no right to complain when the child becomes selfish and demanding.
My Granny was a woman of little means. She farmed. I never knew my grandfather as he died when my dad was only 16. The first house I remember was cold and drafty. It was wooden and there were holes in the walls and floors. She kept warm with a fire in the stove. Yet, she still managed to raise children, have clothes and shoes on her back and feet and could put on a feast of food fit for a king.
Water was drawn from the well out back and everything on the farm was recycled into something, even if that was compost which would become fertilizer for the crops. Nothing was ever wasted.
Her stove used wood and the refrigerator used a block of ice to keep things cold. She washed all clothes by hand for a long time until one of the boys bought her a ringer washer. Clothes were still hung up on a line and if needed ironing, the metal iron was warmed in the fire.
Most of the boys – she had nine children in all — went into service. One stayed home to help with the farm. Those who went off to serve their country, sent money back home to help out. A “rolling store” came by about once a month where flour, sugar and other things not grown on the farm could be purchased.
There was no saddle for the mule which was used to plow the fields. We would ride old Pearl, bareback. Even the feathers plucked from the chickens were used for pillows. I was told she gave birth in the field and continued to work. It was something she had to do to take care of her family.
Family time consisted of enjoying the fruits of their labor and neighbors would come by to help when needed or to enjoy the fellowship around a pit in which a pig was being roasted. Life was hard, but simpler.
Nowadays it is just the opposite. Many want the government to take care of them and they sit in front of a tv all day, doing nothing. Family time doesn’t happen as often and is sometimes spent bickering or listening to drama. People are jealous of what other people have or have not done and they become bitter instead of thankful.
I would like to go back to where we did not have so many things and we appreciated the things we did have more. When we just were thankful to spend time with family, even if you were not doing anything other than talking. We have forgotten the value of just being alive. We need to be encouraging each other and lifting each other up. Move on when God removes something or people from your life and just enjoy what you have now. One day all of this will be gone and we certainly won’t be remembered for what we have accumulated.
Make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas season. Do as Jesus would do – spread love and just be instead of expecting something in return. Be thankful and don’t get so caught up in having to find the best gift or the perfect gift. Don’t be so comfortable where you are now and don’t spend your life securing possessions. It will all be gone before you know it. Blessings to you all.