Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Christmas Present

I've been stewing over gifts for the past couple of days. I've been done with the family shopping since October, but now is the time for teachers, para-pros and therapists to be added to the list. What makes a "good" gift? Something useful or creative? Something homemade or store bought? Something costing nothing but time and love or something with a high price tag?

I've come to the conclusion it's not about the gift...it's about the present. The present meaning the here and now. Don't take it for granted. No one thinks that in the midst of the light cast by the Christmas tree and the platters of food on the table, that next year could be different. Unfortunately for a lot of my friends, this Christmas will be different...their child will not be listening for Santa's bells on his sleigh, they will not be setting out cookies and milk, their eyes will not light up in wonder on Christmas morning. They will instead be celebrating with Christ Himself in Heaven. No, don't take the present for granted.

Christmas is about a child, one small child born in a manger. Christmas is about children and family and togetherness. Nothing else matters. The rest is just "stuff". I don't reminisce about which stocking hung where, the way the lights were strung on the tree or the wreath hanging on the front door. I remember making cookies and decorating with sprinkles with my mom. I remember riding around the neighborhood with my family each Saturday night to pick out the prettiest decked out house. I remember watching movies on Christmas Eve with my grandmother playing with my hair while I sat next to grandaddy. I remember the PEOPLE and the memories I had with them. Not the THINGS surrounding us.

I am now making memories with my children...the two little people (and all of the wonderful families I have met because of them) that have taught me not to take things for granted. That we are not promised tomorrow. That right now is all we have and we have to make the most of it. Please don't get lost in the glitter and glam of Christmas. Don't put off next year, what can be done this year. Dusting the coffee table can wait, dusting the lawn with reindeer food with your kids - can't. Make memories and make the most of what you have. The gift of the present. And when you get overwhelmed, don't turn to the beauty of your Christmas tree, turn to the beauty of the Child that we celebrate. There you will find peace.

Merry Christmas!

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