What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can,
I give Him
– Give my heart.
English poet and author, Christina Rossetti was born on this day in 1830 (died 1894)
How much time did you spend this past weekend searching for that perfect gift? Did you brave the mall on Saturday? Or the major craft and gift festival?
I went to the open house of an artist friend and had a lovely time. That’s about all of the shopping I did for the weekend. I spent most of Saturday afternoon with the gift of leaves presented by eleven overgrown oak trees in my yard.
For most of us life is all about the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
True story. In our house one tree is partially up. And at least one ornament is making it’s way through the digestive system of a dog.
Not to dwell too much on this, but for multiple reasons it’s an economically challenging year in our household. I suspect that we are not alone.
So that means that gifts need to be less about the price tag and more about the thoughtfulness that goes into the finding.
Sorry, if you’re on my gift list there will be no game consoles, or computers, or vehicles this year.
However I should note that, in my willingness to give you the opportunity to be a blessing, I am quite willing to receive.
It needed to be said.
Saturday night NBC played It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s one of those must see Christmas movies even though I’ve watched it countless times. While I was watching a friend posted on Facebook that he was watching Rocky IV which was his yearly reminder that he needed to start working out again.
For me It’s a Wonderful Life is a yearly reminder that life can be frustrating, but not jump off a bridge into freezing water frustrating.
Heck, it’s hard enough for me to get into the pool at the gym when it’s cold outside.
I should note, however, that until recently I, like George Bailey, had a door handle that kept falling off (like the knob on the Bailey staircase. Watch the movie, it will do you good). I finally managed to find the right Allen wrench set and I think I’ve fixed it. For now.
Would that a door handle was my only home repair project for 2016.
Sometimes I feel like trying to fight the stress of the season just adds to the stress of the season. I look at my calendar for just the next week which includes a business trip, attending three performances, and two performance gigs of my own. That doesn’t include the rest of the decorating, the minimal gift shopping, and the yard leafing.
But I’m determined not to let the season get me all stressed out.
If all of the decorations don’t get put out this year (and trust me when I tell you that we’ve scaled back), that’s okay.
If all of the home repair projects don’t get done, or if all of the yard work isn’t done before Christmas (and trust me when I tell you that it won’t be), that’s okay.
If all of the credit cards don’t get maxed out or the bank accounts drained, well, that’s really, really, really okay.
That’s not what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Sorry, you may find me talking a lot about that this year.
No, scratch that. I’m not really sorry. We all need the reminder.
Peter Hollens, rapidly becoming one of my favorite artists, does a great job of reminding us.