You might not believe this,
but yesterday I heard a little news
Can you believe it?
I am still in the garden and the kitchen.
Everything is a full three weeks late this year
so I am finally getting tomatoes and green beans.
For some reason, it really struck me.
More of a "Wait, what's today? When is Christmas?"
It did get me to thinking though.
I realize I'm odd in my thinking,
but when I hear things like this,
it's often later that I really offer much consideration to the topic.
So as I was pondering Christmas,
a feeling of Christmas past, if you will,
came over me.
I reflected on some merry times, both from my youth and that of my children's, then up through the years.
My heart kinda smiled.
Then I thought of Christmases even further back in time,
those I've read about but wasn't alive to encounter.
I thought of the contrast.
The joy of some Christmas candy or small token
and the exhaustion of the mountains of presents to open
and then filter through and deal with.
Of course those of you who know me
know I appreciate the simple things and history.
Then I reflected upon the report I heard
discussing the upcoming Christmas
and the forecast for the next few Christmases.
I was a little saddened.
I fear many older children and younger adults
might not like what's ahead.
They've been spoiled with volume.
One woman actually said if she gave her son a gift of socks,
and needful items that he would probably throw it away.
I was appalled, but my first thought was that it was the mom's fault
for setting expectations and not teaching him
the real meaning of Christmas.
What I am about to say is not to open a political conversation,
but to encourage you and hopefully help prepare you.
We are in a recession and headed full force towards a depression.
I am saying this based on observation
instead of what any news source is/isn't broadcasting.
Businesses are closing and reducing hours.
There are pan-handlers begging right out in front of businesses
with "help wanted" signs.
The prices at the grocery store keep going up
and the size of the packages becomes smaller.
In order to prepare our own hearts,
I would ask what we expect - each of us,
not just for Christmas, but every day.
Have we set our selves up like that mom has her son?
Do we expect so much that we would be disappointed
if we didn't get some glorious gift or lifestyle?
What happens when we don't get what we want?
That's actually a pretty deep question, I know.
I don't expect anybody to answer out loud,
but if you think later like I do
and think your loved ones are headed towards disappointment,
there might be time.
As I type this, the calendar tells me there are 74 days until
Our family came to grips quite a few years ago.
None of us had tons of money.
Nor did we need or actually want more "stuff."
We all came to an agreement of one small gift each.
We changed our focus from "I still have to buy. . ."
to "What can I bring or do?"
We enjoy our time as a family and a "feast."
We count our blessings instead of presents.
And you know what?
It's usually a joyous day.
As you look forward,
if you do think your loved ones are revving up for a let down,
now might be a great time to "bring it on home" as I like to say.
Have the conversation.
Set the expectations appropriately.
Share love rather than things.
Perhaps some still want to go all out but as belts tighten,
knowing one has love and acceptance and
understanding someone else knows the struggle
can be a comfort and make things not only more barrable,
but even merry.
I love Christmas and the Reason we celebrate,
but for the time being
I'm still in the garden.