Friday, December 23, 2011

Checking in...and the true gifts of Christmas...

I've not posted since Monday, and some dear friends were emailing me to find out if I was alright.  As I said on Monday, I have a rotten cough, and it has been keeping me up at night to the point where I can't sit down without the risk of dozing off in my chair.  That has made this week a bit difficult, but what had to get done did indeed get done.  I wrapped all the gifts; I finished up my baking (only 7 varieties of cookies, down from my usual 10!--must be the German blood in my veins!); my cards are all out, and with the help of Una and Sebastian, the tree got decorated.  I still have to do a wee bit of house cleaning, at least in the living room and dining room, and I would like to give the big boys haircuts--although, as my sister says, it won't be the end of the world if it doesn't happen.

Every year since Bret was laid off three years ago, I have anticipated Christmas with some anxiety.  I worried about money, and whether we would be able to afford any gifts for the kids.  So many expenses come up around this time of year:  propane for heating, insurance premiums, auto registration and so forth.  And then usually something big and unexpected hits us (this year it was the well pump going out; last year our van died during Advent).  I work hard to trust God and not to panic.

Boxes from Harry & David--which Una's Godfather sends us every year

And every year, Christmas turns out to be almost too much, too extravagant.  God pours out His generosity through the kindness and thoughtfulness of others.  Only two days after the well pump was replaced and I announced to Bret that we would once again have to dip into our meager savings for living expenses, he was rehired by his former employer.  It isn't yet 40 hours a week, but it is something!  

From family members, neighbors and our church, gifts and food have poured in.  My pantry is full; I have the fixings for at least three Christmas dinners, and I wonder if my children will be spoiled by all this abundance, when just weeks ago I was explaining to them that this Christmas might have to be a bit more meager than those in the past.  

Last night, as we prayed a rosary for all our benefactors, I made plans to return the favor.  We will enjoy the first day of Christmas for ourselves, but we will work to find ways of giving back in what ways we can during the rest of the Christmas season.  

And I will renew my resolution to trust in God's tender care.


  1. Lovely post filled with thanksgiving! I'm enjoying a small glass of wine before everyone gets here for the family party. I love them all dearly, but the perfectionist in me has trouble not stressing over everything from decorations, food, clean bathrooms...
    Afterwards, I'll wonder, as I always do, why I got so nervous! Much love, Annita

  2. Beautifully said! Wishing you and yours a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

  3. I love you blog and your thoughtful posts. It means a lot to me! Thank You!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. I can't wait to hear how you will bless others. What a joy to teach your children to give back. I have 3 children with Down syndrome and they too are being taught this vital lesson.
    Several years ago, when my husband was without a job, I developed a bad cough. I didn't want to go to the doctor because of the expense. I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia! Please don't let that cough go untreated for too long.
    Merry Christmas to your precious family.

  5. Beautiful. Merry Christmas, Nadja.


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