I may have about one week left of golden fall leaves before they have all fallen from the trees. The cool autumn winds have replaced humid summer days and sweaters have replaced shorts. The sun is shining and the days are getting shorter. I think of home. I think of family. I soak in the calm before the storm of a busy holiday season. I briefly enjoy orange and yellow before red and green take over. I want to snuggle up and read a good book and make pies and share long visits with friends. Autumn is the perfect season to realign myself with all that is kind and true, reminding my soul that there is so much goodness left to be found in this world. It is the perfect season to think of giving.
If Thanksgiving is the season of gratitude, then what follows in December should be a manifestation of those feelings. I keep thinking about how I want to share the love I feel. My heart is full and there are people in my life that I want to say thank-you for another wonderful year. And who can deny that first look on the children’s faces in the wee hours of Christmas morning? So, every year when the leaves have all descended from their homes above and made a pile big enough for jumping, I know it’s also time to finalize the game plan for the Holidays.
This must be the reason we all get caught up in the buying frenzy. But the mounting tab for useless plastics and smelly lotions boggles my mind. It’s always been a bit unsettling to me to say I think of you all year fondly with this gift pack I picked up in the checkout line of Costco stamped “made in China.” It’s no secret that there have been more than enough Christmases past that I have resented the whole process. I was feeling a bit Bah Humbug about the whole thing again, until I stopped for a day or two and began to let this simple fact soak in…the change begins with me. After all, it’s what I have been saying about everything else this year. For all the times that ringing in the New Year has left me exhausted and saying “Merry Giftmas” was more appropriate; I vow to do it differently this time. I will give with meaning, or I won’t give at all. I will not tire myself of shopping, wrapping, shipping and checking the credit card statement; making, baking, toiling and slaving for naught. It will come from the heart, or it won’t come at all! And more importantly – my kids know it!
We are all on board this year and I can honestly say I am surprised! This pleasant turn of direction has made it the best week ever! Let me give you a few more reasons why:
· I asked the kids to make gifts for each other and their relatives and they were excited and full of ideas. Who would have known?
· Yummy pumpkin everything.
· Everyone in this house has agreed that less would be more this year.
· Harry for the Holidays.
· We are starting a service project together. Handmade fleece blankets for kids in the hospital and the best part is that we can snuggle up on the couch watching movie together while we do it!
· I’m thinking outside the box for special gifts from local shops or services in hopes to make mall time minimal and American Made possible.
· David has a lot of leave time he needs to use up. Which means lots of family time this season. Which is in fact the best gift of all!
So, as fall is wrapping up and Christmas swings into full gear, how will you make it meaningful? How will you give from the heart? How will you make it the best week ever?