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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is there a Christmas Spirit?

I've tried to work for the last two days, but haven't had much luck. Not only did I have a cold, but it's one of those times when only a soft pillow and my blankie would do!

My head was fuzzy, my nose was stuffy and my teeth felt hairy....(don't ask). I fixed a hot cup of tea and snuggled on my puffy soft couch. The open space in the corner of the living room is a reminder that I still haven't finished the Christian Christmas tree.

Since that tree is one of my favorites I wondered why I was having such a hard time getting it finished. I blew my nose again and inched lower into the blanket. My stuffy head could only imagine the wonderful aroma coming from the orange spiced tea as it's steam curled toward the ceiling .

Where is that bouncy Christmas spirit? I closed my eyes as if I could conjure the spirit up from some hiding place.

Nope....not here.
My eyes were heavy and my feet were cold. I began to think of other Christmases and the joy I had felt. Plenty of children ran around my house. First my own and then years later all the kids I'd kept in my home daycare. We hired Santa's and made cookies. We took tons of pictures and made sure each child received a gift.

This year, the economy is bad and watching five minutes of news can send anyone into a panic attack. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when I heard that there's a bill in congress to tax farmers for the gas emissions from cows. It's called the Flat-ulence tax. I'm wondering what genius came up with that idea and how in the world they could keep track of which cows emit the most gas. Besides, as Mike Huckabee pointed out - "there's much more gas in congress than in the farmland."

This year gifts are very small. There are no children running around my house and my parents are stuck in Georgia. Ken is pastoring in Illinois while Jamie and Amie are busy with their own businesses. So....where is that Christmas spirit?

Is that wonderful joy at this time of year only there when other people are around? Is it only there when there's money to be spent or food to be cooked? Is the Christmas spirit only for children and people who can afford it?

No....I don't believe that at all. But if I believe Christmas is more than that, why do I feel so blah?!?
Having a cold always makes me feel that way,'s not the cold. I don't feel the Christmas Spirit. Ahh... This was now a quest. How can I possibly help "you" get through this if I'm stuck on the couch blowing my nose and fussing about the cow gas tax? After a quick nap, I put on some perky Christmas music and started the tree. No matter how hard I tried....the "spirit" didn't show up.

I finally gave up and went to bed. Jamie called this morning and wanted me to help him take his car to be repaired. We sat and talked while he worked on my computer. We laughed and hugged and I played with his new dog Romeo. He bought Romeo last week and he is already loved. He's a darling little Yorkshire terrier with a feisty attitude. Jamie named him Romeo because Jamie loves Shakespeare. We tossed around all kinds of names but decided it would be cool to stand at the back door and yell, "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"

Romeo started playing with my foot and sock. I decided to donate one sock for a toy. He pulled on it and threw it around. I giggled and laughed and tried to keep it from him. We had a great time. Later, we met Amie and Beth for lunch. Amie told me that Romeo likes to go in her room and steal her socks. He prances up to her room, grabs a sock and dashes out the door. He runs it downstairs to Jamie's room and drops it on the rug as if to announce his accomplishment. We all laughed and I felt "silly happy" that I had added to his collection.

Sitting at the table talking with Jamie, Amie and Beth - the solution grabbed me. It wasn't playing with Romeo or talking to the kids. Yes, that was wonderful and is a big part of who I am...but the missing part is the giving. I felt good giving my sock to Romeo. Such a little act of kindness, but so important.

I stopped at the dollar store on the way home. I purchased a couple of items that I knew would make someone happy. I came home and wrapped them. Tomorrow I will deliver them to a friend who is hurting. She just lost her husband and Christmas is very hard for her. I know she will like these little items....(just $3.18)...but more importantly she will appreciate the visit and sharing a cup of coffee.

Christmas isn't just about giving a gift. Christmas is about caring for someone else.
Christmas isn't really Christmas if it's all about me or what I want or how I feel or even what I need.

Christmas is about everyone else in the world - except me.
When I start caring about everyone else....I get blessed and happy and Christmas-y! The Christmas Spirit always shows up when we give "kindness". It can be in the form of a hug, a sock or a few trinkets that will bring a soft smile to someone we love.

Ahh....yes...there it is....The Christmas Spirit just showed up. Now I can finish the tree.

Merry Christmas


1 comment:

Benjamin Mauch said...

That is so true! Thank you for reminding me that Christmas isn't about "ourselves", it's about others.