I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. I’ve always liked Thanksgiving best.
Christmas was OK when my children were little … nothing like the excitement of Santa Claus early (very early) on Christmas morning … it’s believing in miracles that is so sweet with children.
Now, when my children are grown (and Christmas stuff is out before Halloween), … it’s way too commercial. People are all in a hurry and seem to forget that they’re not the only ones driving (there have been two fatal accidents close to here in the last week) or shopping or whatever-they’re-doing. I’m not sure if this is because of the season or the lack of people-contact that we have in our world today. We seem to have no realization that our actions can impact the life of someone else.
That being said, here are some things that I believe.
I believe that every house should have only one television … and maybe none at all but I realize that’s unrealistic. When we all are able to go to our own corners and watch whatever we want whenever we want, we learn selfishness. When we learn selfishness and then are rewarded with gifts galore, we learn entitlement. Selfishness and entitlement are not pretty when they combine.
I believe that we need to give something of ourselves away. By that I mean giving gifts (anonymous donations, hand-made and sent away, something from the heart) that we have absolutely no expectation of getting anything in return. This year I’ve knitted a hat for a baby in Maine as part of the Period of Purple Crying project. Nobody (well, maybe you who read this blog will know) even knows that I donated a hat. I hope the baby that wears that hat is warm and safe this Christmas. Nobody knows that I sent another had to a soldier … I’m hoping that soldier is coming home this Christmas. I’ve read about K-Mart shoppers having their layaway items paid for and Caribou Coffee orders paid for. This is great giving and just what the spirit of the season is all about – giving freely, no strings attached. When strings are attached, it’s not really a gift at all. It’s a bribe, a manipulation and nobody likes being manipulated.
I believe that we need to search our souls to find out what we believe. How we want to live our lives. How we want to be treated and, thus, how we will commit to treating others. The “golden rule” … “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is not a bad way to live. We left our summer house clean with crisp air-dried sheets on the beds, floors swept, kitchen clean, fridge stocked. We leave hotel rooms with a tip for the maid (tips= “to insure proper service”) because we appreciate the clean sheets and towels. We leave the beaches and hiking trails with gathered from the surf and sand and woods trash. Left behind by selfish, thoughtless, litterers who didn’t think about how beautiful the woods were in Maine in July. Someone who couldn’t be bothered to carry his Coke can down the trail to the garbage can at the parking lot. (See paragraph 2 about selfishness and entitlement combining.)
I believe that we can’t spoil a baby with love. Babies require copious amounts of holding and hugging and kissing and cooing. Require! And in order to be able to provide all that loving, we need to take care of ourselves. If that means spending 3 nights (in tears because I could feel their pain) listening to them cry themselves to sleep according to the doctor’s advice, then we all learned something. (By the way, those were three of the most difficult nights of my life. Three times.)
I believe in miracles (I found my big brother when I was 50), I believe in caring and compassion (I keep McDonald’s gift cards in my car to give to homeless people who might need a hot meal), I believe in volunteering and giving back. I believe in Karma … you get what you give.
I believe in therapy (mental health and yarn). It keeps my hands busy and my heart goes into every stitch. Knitting is therapeutic for me. While I knit a garment, I think about the person who will wear it. I think about the stitches and all else falls away.
This has been a good year full of learning for me. The bumps in the road remind me to value the smooth roads. The few illnesses have reminded me to appreciate health (mine and that of those I love). Short times together remind me that I love being with my family and that there’s never enough time spent together – and that’s such a good thing because it means we love each other and get along. I miss my parents, my grandmother, my children at Christmas – good, too, because it means we’ve had good times together and I desire there to be more. I am thrilled to be making a little bit of money doing what I love and look forward to doing more of it.
I’m moving forward. As unperfect (ha! autocorrect doesn’t like that word) I am, I am enough. I am consistently working to be a better person … learning more about myself, my world, my art, eating less (and exercising more), meeting people, creating true friendships, one step, one day, one moment at a time.
Gone baking …. hey, it is Christmas! 🙂