Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are you blessed?

Sometimes people just amaze me. I watched a woman today flitter around about buying presents and getting Christmas dinner planned and getting Christmas cards mailed and not having time to get all of her errands done and I just wanted to tell her to slow down. Actually I wanted to grab a hold of her and shake her and then slap her a few times and then tell her to calm the hell down. I have known this woman for a few years, so I have come to expect that every year about this time she will go into a full fledged tizzy over Christmas and every year I wonder why. Why does she buy gifts that are overpriced and underappreciated? Why does she feel the need to mail out a hundred cards to people that she hasn't talked to in years? Why does she plan this gigantic family meal for people who can't stand to be around each other? Why?

All of it makes me glad that we have chosen to raise our kids a little different. Yes we buy them gifts, but we don't try to buy their love. Sure they would love to have more expensive stuff, but I would rather we all spend time together playing games and laughing instead. We used to do the posed Christmas card every year. Every single year. The kids hated taking dozens of pictures so that I would have an assortment to choose from in search of the perfect shot and I griped about having to address the envelopes - and then Derek griped about the kids griping about having to take the picture and me griping about having to address the envelopes. Ah - good times ! Good times ! So we stopped sending out Christmas cards. In all honesty - my withdrawal and other situation was the real reason that we stopped bothering with cards, but now I am glad that we don't do it. If the people that I was sending them to hadn't bothered to talk to me all year long, then they weren't important enough in my life to send a card to in the first place.

So this Christmas season, I invite you to not kill yourself by stressing out over finding the perfect gift, cooking the perfect meal, or sending the perfect card. I invite you to just sit back and look at the ways that you are blessed and pass along those blessings to the people who are really important in your life. Send them a hand-written letter, call them on the phone, or (even better) cook them a meal and then go for a visit. Actually sit down and talk - face to face - no text messages - no emails - a real conversation. That will be the perfect gift !

When this life is over - we don't take the Iphones, the fancy cards or the pretty table settings with us. We take the love and the friendships and the feelings that we have for each other. In that sense - I am blessed - I am so very blessed !


  1. I beg to differ. I'll be taking my iPhone with me. There's an app for that.

  2. Nobody likes a smart ass mister !

  3. Beautifully written. We have never really killed ourselves to be everything to everybody at Christmas or to buy Lo the most expensive presents but I will say I did stress about being able to afford gifts (not expensive ones, but something) for everyone in the family. This year we kept it very simple. Thom made a dvd compilation of video of the family he has shot over the past year and Lo wrote and illustrated a little book and that's what people got. Thom and I exchanged a book with each other and we spent the day enjoying each others company. Lo got just a few, inexpensive, gifts from "santa" and a few things from family members and she couldn't have been happier.

    At first I thought, we don't have enough under the tree, and then I thought "stuff" isn't really what the holiday is about. Being atheist, I guess it's strange that we celebrate Christmas, we could easily turn it into a holiday celebrating stuff. But we didn't fall into that trap and we had a wonderful day.

    This last year and a half has really put what is truly important into perspective.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post.

  4. Yes - my friend - we may not have much, but we have each other and we are the blessed ones !