Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Arrived Quietly

Like almost everyone else, I usually am caught up in the stress and hectic lifestyle before Christmas.   We spend so much time trying to make sure we get everything finished in time--buying gifts, wrapping them, baking, sending cards . . . and making sure we don't forget anyone who might be offended if we do.

Then suddenly . . . bang!  It's Christmas Day, and we didn't even have time to enjoy the season.  Sure, we know the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  We try to remember that.  We try to focus on it.  We think we do.  But our materialistic society pulls us away.

But this year, Christmas arrived quietly.  I can't give any credit to myself for that; it's just that I had extensive foot surgery in November, and I have been sitting at home since then.
Yep, that's my foot, and that's how I have spent the past six weeks.  The bad part (besides the pain) is that I couldn't do much at all.
The good part is that I couldn't do much at all.
One advantage is that I rediscovered my love of knitting and crocheting, so my friends and family members received homemade gifts . . . and they liked them.
I also had homemade jam from the summer (I pick strawberries and blackberries every summer), which I gave as gifts.
I like giving homemade gifts because I know that  I am giving part of myself with them.  And the people to whom I give the gifts feel honored to receive them.  My niece said, "It's a gift of love."
Instead of being caught up in trying to find something for people who need nothing, I had the time to make custom gifts for each person.
And as I worked, I thought about Christmas.  I thought about the greatest gift ever--Jesus arriving in the form of a man so that He could save us.
I thought about how crazy it is that we stress ourselves out, hoping that the people to whom we give gifts will actually like them, hoping we've made the right choices.
Or course, I thought about Peru, and I thought about all my Compassion children.  I told someone, "If I send my children a piece of construction paper, they think it's awesome."  It's not hard to find gifts for those who have so little.  It's hard to find gifts for those who have no needs.
I thought about little Jackie in Peru who gave me fruit from the family's guynabana tree.  I have no idea why she chose me, or why she even wanted to give any of us the fruit, but what I do know is that her act was real giving.
I learned another thing about giving--how to let people give to me.  I had to allow people to stay with me, make food for me, bring food to my house for me, and many other things.  I'm so independent that allowing people to do take care of me is a challenge, but in allowing them to give to me, I actually gave to them.

So this year, I wasn't surprised by Christmas.  It arrived quietly, and I enjoyed it.

Besides the homemade gifts that I gave, I also gave from the Compassion Gift Catalog.    The cool thing about choosing gifts from that catalog is that it's double giving.  The people in whose names I buy the gifts are honored to be able to help, and the Compassion families who receive the gifts are blessed because they truly are needy.  (You can still buy from that catalog even though Christmas has passed.)

I don't plan to have surgery again next year, so I hope I will be able to concentrate on real giving and be able to enjoy the season as I did this year.

Because it's about giving.

No comments:

Post a Comment