Remembering the Reason for the Season – Part 1

Reposted from December, 2012.

A full week after Thanksgiving…I think it’s safe to say the Christmas season has officially begun.

I know that on more than one occasion you’ve heard me utter the words, “I hate Christmas.” I don’t really hate Christmas. I’m not a Scrooge or the Kranks or the Grinch. I’m not mean or selfish or against fun, but there are a lot of things I do dislike about Christmas.

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I dislike Christmas decorations in stores in October. I enjoy Halloween, and I love Thanksgiving. Christmas music and displays set up in October or November detract from these special days.

I dislike shopping and shopping and shopping. I dislike shopping for many reasons and spending too much money is only a minor one. I dislike the crowds. I dislike trying to buy gifts that others will like. I dislike worrying about whether or not I treated everyone fairly. I know it shouldn’t matter how many gifts or how much was spent on each, but I still worry about these things. Does a gift look too cheap or too expensive? Too big or too small? Is it something the recipient wants? If not, will he be honest and take it back instead of keeping it just to make me happy? Gift giving is way too stressful.

I dislike decorating. I love others’ decorations, but I just am not interested in putting up lights, a big tree, and knick-knacks all over the house. I used to love this, so I’m not sure what happened, but I’m all for a small tree, stockings, poinsettias or Christmas cactus, and other simple decorations. Maybe I’ll enjoy decorating again, but not for now.

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I dislike being asked what I want for Christmas. I mean it when I say I don’t want or need anything. That doesn’t mean that I won’t appreciate gifts I receive, but I’m really happy with anything…homemade gifts…cards or notes that you write…books…clothes…gift cards…donations made in my name…anything…or nothing. Yes, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Kindle and the TV you bought me (or us) for Christmas, but expensive gifts are not required or expected.

While I know you would never tolerate this response to the question, what do you want for Christmas, I think this quote by the author Oren Arnold, is nearly perfect,

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service, To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

Of course Arnold says his inspiration for writing comes from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John so I guess that explains his perspective.

Now that you know what I don’t like about Christmas, tomorrow I’ll try to convince you I really am not Scrooge. Until then, let me remind you to remember the reason for the season.

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Mom

Early Christmas Shopping

IMG_3576For over thirty years I’ve driven past the corner of SR 40 and Railroad Avenue in Barberville gawking at the metal works at the Handmade Pottery stand, but last weekend we stopped and shortly after entering under the legs of a 30 foot tall giraffe, I realized this may be the perfect place to purchase Christmas gifts.

The fist item to catch my eye as a potential Christmas gift was a knight for Meghan and Jon, UCF alum.

IMG_3549Then the Jeep sign jumped out…perfect for Sarah and Daniel, since they’ve been Jeep shopping.

IMG_3554As I turned the corner, I  found great furniture for Emily and Brian for their back porch.

IMG_3556And since John’s been asking for a goat, I’ve found just what he needs.

IMG_3568A lighthouse for Carol and Dan since they got married at Ponce Inlet, a dragon for Dad, the Silver Creek Dragon, a heron for mom, the bird watcher, a giant chicken for Jeff and Carole…just because it would be such a statement piece in their front yard. And if anyone’s looking for a gift for me, there’s a nice turtle!

My only problem…these items are pretty pricey! But, I’ve got another eight months to save up.