December 2. The month is now pretty much the Christmas season - some places they celebrate the Season later - like around the 12 days of Christmas. I'll tell you a secret. I have the Christmas trees up. I have had them up since last Christmas. I don't really know why but it just looked good on the stand by the hallway and on the other decorative stand next to the piano in the living room. I never put the trees away, mainly because I wasn't real happy to do that. I wanted Christmas all year long. I wanted it to be like the Season where people greeted each other with a smile everywhere you go, and there was a Spirit of Giving. Not the giving of gifts, exactly, but the giving of some of one's self. Staying with a friend who's down and trying to cheer them up. Or, giving time to help an elderly relative with a problem - whether to determine why they have a bill from X or Y or trying to do something for them that's too difficult. Or, just by being with family more and not haring off trying to get yet another present to buy for the tree. I don't particularly like the store type of Christmas. I'm done with that now. If I wanted to buy a present it would be because that person mattered and that person was one I loved. For those who give presents, try to think of why that person you're giving it to deserves it. For those who are a part of a large family, try to think of how that might break the bank just to give gifts to everyone - and some people have decided to be more creative. One Christmas, my mother, who was on a fixed income, decided to create cookbooks - collections of recipes she loved to make - and she printed them on special stationery and then punched holes on the side and strung the collection of pages with green ribbon. She made several for her Mothers' Group, and it was a nice gesture. The thing was, I never heard that any of her group members said Thank You or appreciated what she did. It was a sad thing, and I felt that kind of made Christmas so meaningless. People go out and buy gifts and make a special effort to pick a nice one. Do their recipients say Thank You? No. Sometimes you send a package and then you know that USPS has accomplished sending it - and there's no text or email or call saying Thank You.
It's this kind of thing that can destroy Christmas for people. I don't care now what the stores do. I just think Christmas has to be a personal, private thing between me and God. Me and Jesus. And me and my personal love. I guess that's just how I think these days. I don't have a great deal of money to spend anyway, so gifts are going to have to be thin this year. We have to think of what we should do for others instead of what we should give to others.
Enjoy December. It's the end of the year. The New Year is nigh. How exciting to finish the year. Full of a lot of Sturm und Drang. But maybe ending with a sweet note of Love. God is GOOD. Have a good weekend!