I just doesn’t FEEL like Christmas.
I hesitate to add “yet” to the end of that last sentence because I don’t know what feeling I am actually looking for and when I do, if it will even come. Is this lack of emotion for Christmas because of the struggles we are currently facing, or because the kiddos are getting older and aren’t demanding as much as they used to at Christmas time? Are they not demanding because they are getting older or because they are aware of our current struggles that are financially squeezing us?
I just don’t know.
A friend of mine recommended that I start listening to Christmas music. Thanks Jaime Moseley.
(By they way, check out the AMAZING JOB she did on our house photos. I ADORE THEM!)
I took her advice and had Paul buy me a new Christmas album called Christmas in a Small Town. It was recommended by Jenny Phillips and I absolutely adore it. But . . . it does make me a bit homesick for the simpler days. (wink)
As I have been pondering “Christmas” this year, I am being led to think that maybe Christmas isn’t a feeling but something that is already all around you. Maybe Christmas means opportunities to give and serve in ways you don’t normally behave during any other time of the year?
For instance, these two little trees.
One of my dear gringa friends, that I met here in Costa Rica, moved back to the United States this summer and asked me to find a home for these little guys. As we pulled out our Christmas decor, we found them. I put the trees together and took photos of them, hoping they would be an easy way to interest those via What’s App to offer to make a home for them.
It took a few days but by Sunday, both trees had a new home!
While trying to evenly divide up the loot between the two trees, I discovered a single ornament. It was adorable and since the trees were more than full with ornaments, I felt I shouldn’t let this ornament go to waste and put it on my own Christmas tree.
Each year our family has a tradition to find an ornament that most symbolizes that year for us. I was actually sad when I realized that we hadn’t found an ornament yet, and here it was already December. Until I remember the adorable ornament of Shayla’s.
It was perfect and we made it our Family Ornament for 2017. The ornament was made of tons of multi-sized circles, layered into the shape of a ball. The material it was made of was perfect for writing upon. So, I wrote all the names of the people that have touched our lives while living in Costa Rica.
It was fun to think back to ALL of the families we have met, fallen in love with, or even those we have learned life lessons from. The kids have had fun looking at this ornament and thankfully it isn’t breakable.
I’m surprised this experience hasn’t happened sooner.
I think this is our first real tragic experience with breaking a Christmas ornament. This was one of our oldest daughter, Kayleigh’s first ornaments. How it was broken was a total accident and since tile and glass don’t mix, it was an easy break. Thankfully people are more important than things, so there was no reason to get upset.
I’m grateful for the times that seeing the good is easier than noticing the not so good. Besides being able to give away 2 trees and “create” an ornament for our family this year, sharing these experiences with my friend Shayla was an awesome highlight.
Letting Shayla know that I had fulfilled her wishes AND that she had fulfilled a need of our family, was a wonderful joy to feel. She was MORE THAN HAPPY that we used her single ornament for our family and said that her kids were happy about it too. She was also very grateful homes were found for the trees and decor she left behind. Now THAT FELT GREAT!
Then, last night, this little one came downstairs looking like the Nutcracker was being performed in my home. A flood of joy swept over me. I have never been a lover of the Nutcracker but I think the bliss that is felt from that story is what I felt most, seeing the joy of Christmas through a child’s eyes is most precious.
I had to take her photo in front of the tree.
Look to the right of Curly Cook. Do you see the manger. THAT is the feeling I need to remember right now. It isn’t about “FEELING” Christmas, it is about remembering what Christmas is all about and living it.
By going the extra mile and putting up the Christmas Trees for my friend, so I could find a home for them through text (since I don’t speak Spanish but can translate it via text), I found a much needed ornament for my family. And because I was helping a friend find a home for her trees, I got to tell her the good news that two sweet sisters WANTED a tree but didn’t have the means to get one. So Shayla was an answer to their prayers.
And since I was LOOKING for THAT FEELING, wondering where it was, I FOUND a way to create it!
I am truly grateful for the desires of our hearts that get answered. I am grateful for the opportunities I have to serve, but more importantly the opportunities I have to help others to serve too. I am VERY PROUD of my kiddos for taking it upon themselves to also serve others. They are growing up so fast. I know that they are worried about “their Christmas” but I reminded them of the “Alex Boye Christmas”. That year was CRAZY but we STILL remember it after all these years (4 to be exact).
I truly believe that if we will have the courage to forget ourselves, especially at this time of year, that things will always turn out in the way that we need most. It will be fun to watch this Christmas unfold.