God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Simplified--Yeah!

A couple of weeks ago several of us in my favorite cyberspace hang-out discussed the wisdom of simplifying Christmas this year. After years of prodigious baking, over the top decorating and way too much gift-giving, we were on common ground in thinking that it is time to cut back. It seems that we felt that our years have given us a different perspective on necessity. We were graduating into a new maturity. In the course of this discussion, none of us thought to mention that the motivation might be the thought of the exhaustion in what lay ahead.

It is now somewhere about two weeks later and what has happened? Simplification has proven unattainable. Our discussions are filled with elaborate dinner parties, dozens upon dozens of cookies and candy goodies, treasured decorations emerging from last year's storage cocoons, getting trees to drink (water), work parties, family gatherings and seeking perfect gifts. Christmas is upon us in all its secular grandeur. We have succumbed once again to the pageantry, warmth, richness of traditions and memories.

Fortunately, each of us appears to be selective in what we are choosing to do. I am not doing elaborate dinners and entertaining as I have done in the past. There were years when we would have three or four parties for as many as 80-100 people. I don't do that anymore--the energy has left. They are still with me, however, in good memories of friends and laughter. I like the memories.

For many years cookie baking was a hot item in my house. Many varieties filled boxes for us and neighbors. Eventually I realized the problem with this was that we ate so I stopped baking. This year I have returned to the cookie sheets but just a little. I have an eleven year old who needs the sweet aroma as he walks in after school.

But, my biggest simplification failure happens every year. My house once again is a child's wonderland--which is why Casey's having a party next Sunday. How many more years will we have the pleasure and privilege of welcoming pre-teens into Santa land? (Who would have thought we would once again be doing this. God has a sense of humor in His surprises.)

Actually, much remains stored in the rafters--it is just too much to get out 40 years of accumulation but there is enough out to make it special. And...I must admit to liking the color and memories as I turn the handle of the jack-in-box, watch Santa bounce down his chimney, watch as he dances when someone winds him up and scatter the snow in the Christmas globe. The truth, I think, is that the child remains in us.

And..in all of this, we remember why there is a Christmas.
"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given..and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace... Isaiah 9:6


barb cabot said...

God Bless you dear Jane. I love this post. Your life with Casey is filled with constant wonder and grace and gifts that only a child can give. I look forward to a time when our home is once again graced with that kind of wonder. I love the way you write.

Anne said...

Your Christmas memories sound delightful!! Although I'm tuckered out just reading about them, I don't think I could keep up with you, Jane! :)

Isn't this a marvellous time of year? I love the wonder and promise and joy that fills us as we once again prepare for the birth of the Christ. Peace be with you!

Jerry said...

Mmmmmm - 'prodigious baking'? Really? LOL

You are wise to try and take it easy!

Jane said...

Jerry, of whom could I possibly have been thinking? Gee, I don't know. Barb, thanks for the compliment on writing. Anne, truth is, I really don't do all that much. Peace unto you, too.

Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, lovely post. Wishing you, your husband, Casey (pre-teen already, he is growing up so fast) and your families a very Wonderful holidays.

Anonymous said...

Jane, wishing you & your family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!