Why does Christmas come earlier every year? Is it because I'm moving a bit slower and it takes more time to get things done? Makes sense. In any case, it'll be here in a couple of weeks and my lists are getting longer rather than shorter.
During Thanksgiving, with Christmas only four weeks away, I decided not to host my annual open house - was overwhelming myself with all that that entails. Relieved that I would be ahead of the game, so to speak, there was still the family Christmas gathering to plan. No big deal I thought, nothing like the all day event, people coming and going, never sure if there would be enough food - besides, the idea of just family eliminates some of the stress of trying to have everything perfect. In other words, I can cut a few corners, use the smaller tree and replace the centerpiece punch bowl with Coke and Sprite right out of the bottles. My family will understand - we know each other well after all this time, and after all, Mom isn't as young as she used to be (this going unspoken of course).
Since this was going to be more of a causal and relaxed get together, I decided to cut a few corners on the decorating as well. Do I have to put out every piece of holly, bunch of berries, every ornament collected over the span of a lifetime, every Santa or anything else glittery or Christmasy? No, I thought, I'll just do a little this year, make it easy on myself. But it really wasn't any easier since I had to go thru all the storage boxes in order to see what I wanted to use. Sorting thru all this was no easy task - I began to wonder if this was such a good idea after all. I started on the mantle first and saw it gradually coming to life with 'just a little' Holly and berries, my angel grouping, a candle and a couple of my favorite Santas. As I started to close the box marked 'mantle', I couldn't do it. I've come this far, sad to leave all the less favored things stored away and not be a part of the festivities. And so, out they all came, once again taking their rightful place on the mantle.
Reminded me of how we sometimes 'cut down' on other things - the time spent with family and friends - neglecting to see the needs of others - maybe look away as we pass the Salvation Army bell ringer. If we are to call ourselves Christians, we must be willing to do more than just a little. God expects more than that, more than whatever is left over - time or money.
I will think on this as I enjoy my mantle this Christmas season and as I make my resolutions for the New Year. In fact, I need to check out the pantry snd see if I have the makings for another pound cake - want to be sure to have enough, even tho it is 'just family.'
Peace on earth, good will toward men. 🎆.