Thursday, November 29, 2012

There are gifts, and then there are GIFTS!

Been thinking a lot about what I want to post this week. I loved all the Thanksgiving Posts. Loved them even more because someone was actually thankful for me. The ‘Oh How I Miss You Blogfest’ was also fun and heartwarming. It’s nice to see and read all of your positive comments about friends, family and especially those who are ‘words on a screen’.

Another blogger mentioned that Thanksgiving is the ‘Gateway to Christmas’ and for that I’m excited. I love Christmas. I love buying and giving gifts. I generally go overboard, but it’s so much fun. I like the idea of trying to figure out what will be meaningful and fun for the recipient. What can I give that will be unique and tell them that I really care. I want them to know that I listen and want to please and excite them with my choices.

Kids are easy, they want everything. I try hard to decipher what is real desire and best fitted to their age, ability and learning, as opposed to who has the slickest ads. With adults it gets harder. Most adults that I know, have the things the really need, so I like to look for something totally frivolous that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. That’s where the fun begins.

But, there is another side to the Christmas Season that is a little melancholy for a lot of us. Christmas is also a time of deep reflection. A time when we miss loved ones who are no longer here, friends who have gone by the wayside and I tend think about those people I ‘let down’ or failed somehow.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I have a list of people that I have failed throughout my lifetime. People who reached out me in some manner and I was too preoccupied or too selfish to even try to meet their needs. So often all it takes is a little attention to get most folks through a ‘bad time’. Christmas is a time when I think of them. It’s a time when I wonder if there is something more I could do, even now. It’s a time when I pray a lot and try to be better.

Quite a few years ago, I was up late wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I had commercial TV then and some live Christmas Pageant was airing. I was absent mindedly( is this really a word? - oh well, it is now) watching. It began as an angel tells Mary of the divinity of her coming child and ends with the Savior’s Crucifixion. I was a little angry. How dare TV ruin my Christmas Spirit by reminding me of ‘the rest of the story’? At Christmas I’m in a frame of mind where I prefer to think only of the JOY surrounding the event we are celebrating. I stopped wrapping and began contemplating my disappointment. It was then that it hit me (like a ton of bricks, I might add) that the true JOY in the Christmas story is truly only present when we consider ‘the rest of the story’. The love shown to each of us in the giving of the greatest gift. Redemption, if only we accept it. Total and complete unconditional love extended to each and every one of us, if we can abide it. And finally, an example or pattern for us to follow to be worthy of both.

I hope you enjoy giving this Christmas Season as much as I do. I hope you all realize just how much you give to me. Now get out there and start shopping, or start baking, or start making those fun and meaningful gifts for those you love. When someone tells you Christmas should not be about the gifts, it’s gotten too commercial, whatever, whatever. Remind yourself that gift giving is a tiny part of the example set for us at this most important and joyous time of year. And have some fun with it. Man is that he might have JOY.

I’ll be off island next week, visiting the States. Yeowee!  I’m excited and a little apprehensive. I’ll wave if I see ya. 


  1. Amen! Without the the crucifixion and resurrection, Christmas would lose a lot of its meaning. It's important Christ was born - even more do that he died and rose again.
    I hope that you have your joy this next month.
    And very cool you are traveling to the USA!

  2. Wow you have a beautiful tree in that picture. That is amazing.

    I hope your trip to the states is fun and exciting.

    Christmas has lost some of its charm for me over the years. Usually I only look forward to it the week before and then I'm happy when it's over. Even though I'm not religious, I appreciate that the holiday brings people together, allows for reflection, and is about giving of yourself to another person. That is an amazing thing.

  3. Happy shopping, if that's what you're going to the US to do.

    I like looking for unique gifts too, and baking gifts. Just made some mock almond roca for rellies in the states, will be packaging it today. It travels well.

  4. Lovely post. Yes, it's the end that makes the story.

  5. Lovely post and picture. What part of the States? From now until Christmas is magical, all of it.

  6. FAE ~
    This was a very nice post.

    I have always adored Christmas, the color, the music, the food, the gifts, ALL OF IT. It truly is "the most wonderful time of the year".

    And although I certainly remain cognizant of the "meaning" of Christmas and the Salvation it ultimately culminated in, to me, the two "high Holy days" each have their own natural mood, and I don't usually mix my Apples (Aprils) and my Oranges (Decembers).

    On Easter, for me, it's a time of deep reflection and awe and gratitude - it represents what our Holy King and Savior entered "this world" to do for us. It's the Great Gift.

    Christmas, on the other hand, is more delightful - a kind of "party dance" because it is, after all, a BIRTHDAY we are celebrating. Do you remember the animated Christmas special 'Frosty The Snowman' with Jimmy Durante as the narrator? It's probably no accident that when Frosty came to life the first words out of his mouth were "Happy Birthday!"

    So although my two favorite holidays - Christmas and Easter - are both essentially about the same thing, they each engender a different emotional response in me.

    Now, what I really want to know is this:

    You'll need to read between the lines here, because I don't want to spill the beans on it if this is something have a good reason for keeping very private, but...

    Why is it that you have not told the story on this blog about your new professional gig and how you came about it?

    You know, the 15 minutes of fame you are enjoying (and which could turn into a full hour of fame or more). Why have we not heard anything here about your "local celebrity status" and how it "magically" occurred?

    Do you have ANY IDEA AT ALL how interesting the 'Followers' of this 'Far Away Series' blog would find that story?!

    I won't say any more in case I'm yakking more than I should about something you'd rather keep mum about, but... please think about what I've said. Your fans here would LOVE to hear that story! (I certainly did.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  7. I'm a big Christmas person. For me, it's always about trying to spend as much time as I can with the kids. Not getting sucked into the vortex of too much shopping and being too busy.