Monday, November 29, 2010

Farewell To Fall

Thanksgiving 2010 has come and gone. We had a wonderful day at my sister’s house with all the family present. I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture. Sometimes it is better to just live the moment rather than trying to photograph it!  The worst thing about going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving – NO leftovers. Sad smile  But this year my sister packed us a care package to bring back home with us! So on Friday we got to eat some Honey Baked ham, some yummy cornbread dressing,  green beans and orange Jell-O salad. YEA for leftovers! Thumbs up

The final weeks of fall are upon us, and we are heading into the most difficult weeks of the year. This week I’ll be packing up the pumpkins, the leaves, the fall candles, the gourds – saying good-bye to the cozy fall décor and trying to gather the energy to clean house thoroughly. Then I’ll head to the attic to bring the Christmas boxes down. It seems like so much work… and the financial worries of the season tend to dampen my spirits. It’s easy to lose sight of the baby in the manger. It’s hard to ‘change’ the expectations that kids have at Christmas; hard to get them on board to focus on the true meaning. Oh, they know it… but they are gripped by the commercial aspects as well, and reluctant to change those expectations. To their credit, we don’t buy things all through the year so they do have a needs/wants wish list built up. Still… it’s difficult to get through this time of year, financially.

Sometimes I wonder, how did my mama do it. How did she make Christmas so special for us when the money was every bit as tight when we were growing up? How did she keep her joy and make it magical for us, and keep the money worries away? We poured through the Wishbooks (Sears and JC Penney) and check-marked things, made our lists, checked them twice.. or three or four… arranged them in order of most wanted! We worried whether Santa would bring the things we wanted most. (He always did!) And we tried our hardest to be extra good. Angel  

She has been gone 20 Christmases now. My, how I have struggled to find the magic again.  Something occurred to me as I thought back over the years. It seems like every year she began the season by bringing out the nativity set. She carefully unwrapped each fragile piece and set up the scene on the bookcase. There  was the large wooden stable with its hay-scattered floor. Then she arranged the family and sheep in the stable. Then wise men and donkeys and a shepherd carrying a lamb on his shoulders were set up outside the stable, all making their way to behold the Savior!  Then last of all – she allowed me to carefully hang the angel above the stable and wind the key beside her. Then ‘Silent Night’ would begin to play and I would  be in awe once again as the soft night light fell upon the figures in the stable! This, this simple tradition would begin the Christmas season at our house.  Maybe this is the key/ the magic.  I have her nativity set but there have been recent years when I didn’t even bring it down from the attic. Not only was it not the signal of the beginning of the season. It didn’t make an appearance at all. Sad smile  Of course I had smaller nativity pieces set round about in various areas… just the little family – Mary, Joseph and Jesus.  It’s not the same. You know what – I am thinking that box should be the first one out of the attic this year. Not the tree… not the boxes of lights and ornaments… not the knick-knacks that sit on the shelves.  No, I will pack away fall this week and clean up good. Then I will bring down that box and remember all those wonderful Christmases past, when that sweet stable scene set my mind on the reason for the season. And instead of doing it myself while the girls are gone to school, I’ll wait for them and allow them to HELP. TOGETHER we will WELCOME the season as we begin it by keeping Christmas as my mama always kept it – eyes on the baby, hearts of expectation, thankful for the gift God gave.

I’ll let you all know how it goes! Be right back

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Really enjoyed reading your blog posts.