Holy cow, I can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner. I feel like it snuck up on me and I had no clue it was coming. I could blame it on the big move, the lack of snow, or my totally distaste for consumerism in our country, but at the end of the day, I am shocked that it’s the end of December and we are all about to embark on a new year super soon! As I look around, it’s easy to not recognize the presence of Christmas. Due to our move and my trip to Guatemala we don’t have a full tree, we never went and picked one out or spent a night decorating it. Our Christmas decor is limited to some sparkly garland my mother-in-law strung and a little tree from Drew’s late grandma that’s in the front porch. We don’t have presents or gift wrap or pretty ribbons strewn about, in fact, we don’t have a single present wrapped. We never got around to making a Christmas card (maybe we can do a New Years card?) so there aren’t stamps or envelopes waiting to be sealed. In lieu of gifts this year, we are choosing to give to others and write a letter to one another.
In spite of all that’s changed, there is so much that is the same: the drive to Duluth, time with the family, my Grandpa reading the Christmas story from the Bible, a card game or two around my parents dining room table, Christmas morning in pajamas, Bloody Mary’s in the morning on Christmas day and so much more. While our Christmas is panning out differently this year, I truly wouldn’t change it for anything. I feel lucky that this week hasn’t been filled with baking or standing in long lines at the store, it hasn’t been overwhelmed with travel plans or stressful for last minute shopping – in fact, I haven’t stepped foot into a store since October (I kid you not, thank you Capsule Wardrobe.) Drew’s “present” was a Roomba, (yes, buying my husband a vacuum for Christmas is pretty much the smartest thing ever, that kid loves to clean) and we opened it early to try it out at the new place.
Beyond all of the lists and to-dos, I really just want to remind you that this time of year can be challenging, lonely, heart wrenching for others. Please, as you celebrate your Christmas, remember those who have lost loved ones, who have no family to surround themselves with, who are hurting, or less fortunate. Count your blessings, not your presents, and give the gift of presence to those you are lucky to be surrounded by. Regardless of if your season has looked overwhelmingly busy or you are opting for a “less is more” strategy. I pray that you put down your phone, enjoy on another’s company, celebrate your health, pray for those in need, and really, truly bask in the miracle of Christmas. While the holidays can leave us drained, I pray this year you are rejuvenated. Merriest of Christmases to you and yours (and since we have yet to take a Christmas card photo, consider this a love letter from us to you, sealed with a kiss!)
If you still need a last minute gift, please consider donating the gift of clean water through donating to Healing Waters! I have seen first hand how this organization is changing lives and using clean water and education to change the world! This is where we put our money this year in lieu of gifts!