Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Missing - Christmas spirit and child-like joy

I just haven't been able to get into Christmas as much this year. Yes, the decorations are up and the tree is decorated, but thanks to the girls, not me. I actually went and had a sleep and let them do the tree. That is unheard of for me. What happened to my Christmas spirit? I was usually the one in my family that insisted on getting the tree (a real one...nothing else would do) and getting the decorations up. I remember one year getting my younger brothers together, packing a picnic, then dragging them across the creek to find a tree and chop it down and drag it home...all by ourselves. It was a fun adventure, never mind the fact that I was meant to be babysitting my toddler sister while Mum was out and I totally forgot about her because she was sleeping. Mum came home and found her over at the neighbours across the road where she had gone crying because she had woken up to a totally empty a family of nine kids, a rare occurance which must have made it all the more scary. Sorry Veronika, I hope I haven't scarred you.

Anyway, I digress. This year I found myself getting stressed over getting the "right" arrangements up, not helped by all the beautiful decorating pictures I see on everyone else's blogs. I find that because I'm a creative person, I have to fiddle and tweak things until they are just right. I can tell they are right because of this feeling I get in my stomach, when everything just falls into place. If I don't get it right, then my stomach just stays churning. Crazy, huh? Well this year my stomach's been churning like mad and to make it worse, I just haven't had the interest in making it better. And I'd usually make things to fill spaces or as inspiration hits me, but again, no interest. I think it's partly because I'm busy making gifts so I don't have time for other crafts plus trying to get the giirls room finished. And I'm just burnt out after a year of work.

So, I found this in the school newsletter and I've had it up on the fridge, and it's been a good daily reminder. It calms me down when I feel like I'm just not doing things well enough.
1 Corinthians 13 - a Christmas (source unknown)
If I decorate my house perfectly with tinsel, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas biscuits, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully decorated table at mealtimes, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at Meals-on-Wheels, sing carols in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the tree with shimmering angels and snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the local choir but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has co-ordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful that they are there to get in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. X Box games will break, DVD's will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
And it got me thinking...when I was younger, we didn't have all the beautiful handmade decorations like I have now, but did that bother me. No! We had our few simple decorations that we hung up in the same place every year and I loved them because I was a child and it was Christmas and what could be more exciting than that. Ella's been trying to remind me of that. Nearly every day she says to me, "It's nearly Christmas. I'm so excited. Aren't you excited, Mum?" And she says she loves getting presents but loves choosing them for other people and giving them even more. Thank God, I have a child to learn from and to remind me NOT to grow up.


  1. haha I really don't remember my abandonment story. I thought it was at night time and you had gone out with Beth or something.
    ahah not to worry, I'm not scarred.

    I'll cya on Saturday! I'm excited for that! Crazy family events! <3

  2. I know what you mean about getting a certain feeling in your stomach when you know things are just right.
    Love the article you posted about re- the gift of love at christmas being more important than the decorations/baking/celebrating.

  3. You are a fortunate woman and in a time of your life that will one day be just a faint memory. i am 50 with grown children, both my own and others i helped to raise up. The house is empty now until they pile in to remind me why i worked so hard all of those years.

    The memories that you build today will one day come back to you in smiles and laughter as they tell of the things you never knew mattered, as you see them adopt many of your traditions for their own families, and as they tell their children of their own happy childhoods. What you give them today is a wise investment in the future... theirs AND yours.

    i understand not feeling much like Christmas. We can't hit it right every year. Please don't kick yourself for that, but do take time for the little things that i promise will be remembered.

    Mine have told me of the most simple smiles, things i thought so unimportant then, and i am so grateful that i took the time i did with them, though of course now i wish it had been more, but we all will do that.

    They don't remember the gifts at all, or which years were lean, which were filled with expensive toys or even what they received, but the silliest little things...

    snowflakes of typing paper hung with abandon in ALL of the windows one year

    the blizzard of 1977 and being snowed in

    piling into my bed during a thunderstorm

    the dog all dressed in my scarf and hat

    getting up before sunrise

    the house full of lit candles and the smell of baking bread

    Don't waste time in regret for what you don't feel this year, but hang on tight when you do have a moment that moves you and pay close attention - they are only small for a moment.

    i found your blog thorough your comment on another. It's delightful and i'll be back.

    Merry Christmas...

  4. Thanks for posting the Corinthians: Love is... Its what I needed this week :)


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Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.