Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Look Both Ways

You might not believe this,
but yesterday I heard a little news
discussing Christmas.
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?"
sorta striking.
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.


  1. You are so correct in our future with cost of living and soon with high fuel bills. For the past several years I've told my son and DIL to not give me more stuff. Anything I really want I will buy or have purchased myself. And because they struggled themselves my gift to them the last couple years has been money to either pay bills or buy themselves something they need. Them and my grandson are the only people I give gifts to. OH, and in the past I have made each of them something for Christmas...a hooked rug, a door decoration, etc.

  2. I'm a "later" thinker like you...so I am certain thoughts of this will come to me - bidden or not - in the days to come. But, I don't need to ponder anything to recognize the sobering truth and wisdom of your words. For many reasons, I have not done the "gift" thing for several years. I do pick up a little something for the mail ladies (I have (had?) two and had retrieved many a package that didn't fit in my box from my porch when I still sold online). I do generally give my son a gift of money with instruction that he spend it on something fun for himself...which I seriously doubt he does... and do something small for my SIL who does likewise with me because she totally understands my "style" and we have the same interests...so often, she will gift me a stitching pattern, some linen, something she has made, etc. And, yes, you are correct that there will be a reckoning in the days ahead and some attitudes will need to be adjusted...seriously adjusted. ~Robin~ (TheCrankyCrow)

  3. Lady Locust, I am already rather cranky about the fact that the holiday just flows now from Halloween to Christmas with nary a break in between. I preferred it when we had the ability to "breathe" between holidays.

    It is going to be rough year for many, and rougher for more to come. I would argue that is not political: it is simple economics for those that actually look at what they are spending now and the upward trends. It is a good reminder to reflect on what the real meaning of Christmas is - to your point, many have likely set high expectations that may not be able to be achieved.

  4. I have been a fan of simplifying Christmas, for a long time. Some family, were not happy when I said we should put it into practice. But we did. -smile-

    Yes, this is a sad and scary time, in our Beloved Country.

    If anything can bring the "I deserve it all" attitude down, this should.

    But will it...?

    We can hope...


  5. I thought to respond to each comment, but will just say here, I love each of these comments!
    BaBB: your second comment shows published on my end, but not here. Maybe it is still on it's way.

  6. I agree. I make my gifts, and I don't give many anymore. I love the baking, knitting, sitting by the fire, and snow...

  7. The same here...back to school appeared in June (please, let the kids get OUT of school first) and Christmas is now in the stores...poor Thanksgiving - a holiday when we should stop, think, and reflect on our blessings - gets overlooked every year. Enjoy the season we are in...we can't keep pushing ahead and missing the NOW. Thanks for the wonderful comments, Mary

  8. You have raised some very good points. It seems like every generation has felt that they've had to outdo the generation before until Christmas has become a shell of what it is meant to be. I put myself and my husband squarely in that 'outdoing' when our kids were small. My husband (coming from a family of 9 and thus the resources were stretched very thin) decreed that our boys should get several gifts from Santa as well as gifts from us. That was fine when they were really little but as they got a bit older it got very costly and by then there was an expectation of largess on their part. Now, when it comes to our grandchildren, we try to stick to 'The Three Gifts of the Magi' (something fun, something to read, and something to wear). Luckily it seems our kids have broke the generational mode and have been using the '3 Gifts' criteria with our grandies.