Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Warning: Bah Humbug post to follow.

Around 25 years ago, one Christmas my sister, brother and I and our families all gathered at my parents' home. After all the gift-giving hoopla, my dad suggested that perhaps next Christmas we could all just buy gifts for the children, but not for the adults.

I thought, "He must be getting old to suggest such an awful thing. I hope I never get that old."

I did not understand.

Then a few years later a couple who Tom and I had known since our children were small, told us they no longer celebrate Christmas with gift-giving or decorating. They just have a dinner with their grown children on Christmas Day, rather another version of Thanksgiving, but where they think and speak of Jesus.

I thought, "Wow. Our friends have gone wacko."

I did not understand.

But now? Now I sooo understand.

And if I were Queen, I would declare, "Where Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and being thankful, let's just make Christmas about Jesus and feeling grateful for Him."

But I'm not Queen, except maybe in my own home. (Maybe. I'm not sure.) 

And I've not yet decorated a thing nor have I wrapped one gift. Of course, I've had a cold since Friday, I spent two days in my robe and Tom's been sleeping each day since Friday because of having worked night shift, so I'm limited in how much noise I can make. And by the time he leaves for work, I've had only energy for washing the dishes and straightening things. But as of this moment, I'm planning to finally decorate and wrap gifts when he awakes, for he'll get up earlier since he doesn't work tonight.

Blah, blah, blah.

What am I saying? I'm saying that for eleven months of each year I happily work alongside Grace and she helps me with every task and the Christmas in my heart brings smiles and nudges me to buy surprises for the people in my life. Usually they are timely--and I'd rather be timely than traditional. Way rather.

But in December? I don't know. For years I've felt so on my own when it comes to 'Christmassing' the way Everybody and his Aunt Marlene is doing it. I hate that 'without Grace feeling'. There is struggle, guilt and longing for January (which, hey, isn't even close to being my favorite month of the year). And decorating? That is what I'm all about the rest of the year, but Christmas decor, well, to me, clutters.

So I'm thinking next December will be different. Next year I'll release everybody's expectations and I will only do that which Grace is doing right there beside me. I'll leap out of this ChristmasLikeEverybodyElseDoesIt boat and I'll either sink or swim.

But really, next December I am gonna jump out. I cannot spend another month like this, doing Christmas stuff only because I feel I should.

And trust me, I am ever so curious to see what happens! Change is rarely comfortable, but when God is saying, "Change"? It becomes far more uncomfortable to disobey. And I feel that discomfort, especially when it occurs to me--ordinarily--I am a bold Christian who shares her convictions, yet why haven't I been brave enough to let go of additional Christmas traditions?


And in case you are curious, Tom and Naomi and I are on similar pages about this. Hmmm. I'm thinking that is a good clue.

Oh, and if you still feel led to Do Christmas, I say more power to you. Decorate and celebrate double for me, ok? :)


"Sometimes we must step out in order to find out." ..... Joyce Meyer


"Unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."


Queen of France said...

i had the best time decorating this season - and it'll stay up till mid/late January, including the tree!

This year i tried to do more in way of decorating - tried to make it look fancier or something and boy did i enjoy that - i think it's a side of me i didn't know existed!

However, i didn't do any shopping until last night and my sister is going to wrap all the presents for me! HA!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Emma our tree stays up all of Jan. too. I take down the really Christmassy things and keep the wintery ones.
My husband loves decorations for all occasions. He fell in love with a Father Christmas tree topper about 10 in. tall yesterday, so we have a new entity at our house. I get rid of some things that are old and tired too. I put little things our for Valentines and St. Pat's too. Autumn of course, my favorite time.
I take longer to do all these things now that I'm of an advanced age, but I will continue as long as I can and enlist help when I can to fetch and carry.

Enjoy your decorations. Bright and Merry! Wilma

Dolores said...

I'm with you Debra!

Donetta said...

Urgent Prayer For Eddie (Love Bug)
I am typing this for Denise of Shortybears Place she is on the phone with me now

Eddie has had a stroke and is in hospital under observation. They were unable to get the stroke medication in time. So far they have done a CAT scan and a MRI and other test are being awaiting . His leg is effected. He is able to speak. This is written at 9:30 p.m. TN time

He is in Memorial Hospital Chattanooga TN. She is alone so if any friends are able please consider coming to her side. He is being moved to room momentarily.

This is written by Donetta of A Life Uncommon and she can be reached through me.

Judy said...

I realized a few years ago that I do all of the decorating for ME. It's my 'thing'.

We drew names right along with our kids and had a lovely St. Nicholas Eve family party on December 5 with ONE gift for everybody.

Christmas Day we shall have small gifts for the grandchildren.

Isn't it strange, all of the stuff we think we have to do, when really it's a choice?

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Debra, this is a bit off of today's topic, but I wanted to tell you that I ordered The Wind Blows Free when you talked about it, and it came today and I began reading. I like it so much. It is just a lovely book to read right now, the kind of book I really like. So thank you so much for recommending it.