Many years ago, our family started a tradition of celebrating Christmas on January seventh.
Yes, we still keep the "traditional" dates of December twenty-four and December twenty-five. But we had friends that observed the Julian date, and I had the foresight of realizing that sonner or later (it's always sooner, isn't it?) my children would be grown with families of their own, and other traditions and ways of celebrating (along with people with whom to celebrate) would emerge in their lives.
So I wanted to create a way where the unit of my children's birth family could gather under one roof and celebrate Christmas. Also, since Christmas Eve was the day we visited the in-laws, and Christmas Day was the day we visited my family, I also wanted to create a tradition that was uniquely ours. To sweeten the January seven date, years after we'd begun this tradition, Rebekah was born, so the day now has a dual place in our hearts.
So where does the fretting come in?
Anyone who's followed this blog for some time knows we're recovering from a crushing financial crisis. This year, for the first time in many years, we finally, finally have enough coins in the purse to buy a few modest gifts.
A combined set of challenges means that, for me, Christmas gifts for my own children - from me - won't happen. Two medical emergencies with Timothy plus back to one car again plus full work schedules that extended into the holidays and throughout this past weekend equaled no opportunity to get to the bank and drive to a store, any store, by January seven.
Furthermore, I was too busy to even think about this or become bummed by it...until last night.
And while this little demon of discouragement toyed with my spirit this morning, I read the passage on a friend's page. The man whom I've quoted spent time in federal prison (drug-related), wrote about his recovery, and then showed up at WriteOn Joliet with his manuscript and questions about publishing it.
And BTW, this man also bought Christmas presents (and wrapping paper and tape) for all my grandchildren, present which are now sitting gift-wrapped beneath my Christmas tree, waiting for Thursday.
Here is the quote:
Here is the quote:
"Time will wash away most of all your footprints here on earth. What you do in love and kindness will be remembered forever. The people that have loved you because of these things will keep you alive much longer than you live. Hope is the essence of life at it's core. The hope of better life for all you love. The hurt you feel when you see your loved ones waste their life's talent. Appreciate the time you have, make the best of it every day." Ralph Carey, Life Wisdom Overcoming Addiction
So while I'm determined to give beautiful presents for my six children and their spouses this year, those presents obviously won't come from a store, unless some miracle occurs. This means, I'm just going to have to get a little creative.