Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas Redux

    I barely got some (and some not at all) of my Christmas cards in the mail this year. I was not able to go my typical extra mile to put on my over-the-top, grandiose and glorious Christmas celebration that I always somehow end up doing. It was instead a time to travel the week before Christmas to bury a loved one. Hence, out of necessity, every plan was adjusted, some things were cancelled, and everything was scaled back. And to my surprise, I found that I not only survived the necessary adjustment, I discovered that I was blessed by it. For one week after Christmas I was flat on my back with the most horrific flu. It knocked me down and out for ten whole days. Next year you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be getting a flu shot. I also had a lot of time to reflect during those ten days, and I determined that I will gladly be continuing some form of a scaled back and scaled down Christmas. I am learning in my old age that I don't have to kill myself propagating some vision of Christmas that apparently only exists in my head.  It took a funeral and the flu for the good Lord to get it through this thick skull of mine. Simpler is better. Read that again and say it aloud if you struggle from the same delusional notions of Christmas that I did: Simpler is better. It's not more holy, it's just better. Remember that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. I am learning what this means. And thankfully, God is oh so very good to this incredibly stubborn and oft times, dense, woman.
  For me Christmas began with the Ish Girls' Bible Study Christmas celebration of giving our "Favorite Things." It was sweet and tender and lovely as each of us felt the joy and love of the others and of the Christ as we gifted one another with our favorite things.
     Here we are in all of our joy and silliness!

Obviously, some of us are sillier than others!

Can you tell that I keep my house too cold for these young lovelies?!

     It was a precious day with precious women who continually inspire me with their love for the Lord, their love for their families, and their commitment and service to their communities.

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