I'm getting wind burned by how fast this year whipped by. It's funny how when you stop to look at things; if you look forward to something, time creeps by and when you look at the year as a whole, the time just flashes by. Fortunately or unfortunately - depending on how you look at it, Pam and I are at the age where time normally just whips by. Most of life is fairly routine with taking care of the kids, working our "9-to-5" and participating in things at church.
Right after Thanksgiving, Pam and the girls pulled out our Christmas tree and the decorations. And let me tell you, they did up the tree so beautifully that it almost brought tears to my eyes. It is absolutely gorgeous. Simple, balanced and non-thematic. I actually love passing it and just gazing at it. And that's saying something because I'm not much of a Christmas person, (a left over neurosis from a previous marriage) but I'm working on changing it.
This year we plan on making Christmas small, but memorable. As time goes by we're getting to understand the wastefulness of the commercial Christmas and the lack of true giving. Of course I've always hated the part of spending gobs of time, money and effort trying to buy gifts for people when you haven't the slightest clue what they really want or need. That part irks me the most. But that's me.
There is a growing trend that our family and I hope yours will join - instead of spending gobs of time, money and effort on buying those mindless gifts that people don't need (and probably don't want), spend it on charitable causes. There are food banks, health care providers, orphans, shelters (for either people or animals), heck even "tree hugging, earth loving" organizations that could use your money. Send it to them. Send it in the name of a gift recipient. Give to someone who can't give back and truly enjoy the spirit of giving, rather than the spirit of exchanging. Give hope.