Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis the season...

It's Christmas and I love this time of year! The lights, the music, the food! However, this Christmas I have been really struck by how many people are struggling this holiday season to just survive, let alone make any sort of Christmas happen for their families. It seems that this time in history is testing so many of us in ways we never imagined. While that is trying and oftentimes disheartening at the same time trials build character and show us who we truly are.

While putting our Christmas letter together this year I tried to think back to some of my favorite Christmases assuming the big ones would be where I got my doll house (a great Christmas, but not my fave) or some other great gift. Instead the first Christmas that popped into mind was one where things were tight, so tight in fact that we couldn't afford a tree that year so instead we decorated a plant we had in the house. The pic of my brother and I sitting next to our Christmas plant is still one of my favorites! I remember really liking the plant because it was at my level, I could decorate the entire thing, not just the bottom. Our small smattering of presents were scattered underneath and if I remember correctly I am gazing fondly at our improvised tree with a huge smile. I can only imagine the dismay my parents must have felt that year when they realized that we couldn't afford to buy a real tree and probably sat down once my brother and I were in bed to try and figure out if there was any way at all they could make that happen for us. Little did they know that that Christmas was one of my favorites, the one that sticks in my mind more than any others. I don't remember any of the gifts I got, but I do remember loving how special our family was. It didn't matter what we put the gifts under, or if there were even gifts at all! What mattered was that we were together, that we made the best of not the best situation, and we were happy. It is easy to stress about gifts, especially if you enjoy giving like I do, but in the end the gifts and wrappings will be forgotten, but the special memories that are made will last forever. Sometimes the more we are tested the more we pull together. The Christmas plant year will forever live in my memory as a great Christmas. I hope you all can find your Christmas plant among the madness of this season. And as corny as it sounds, it isn't the presents under the tree that matter but the presence of Christ that makes Christmas special. Happy Holidays to you all!

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