07 December 2007

amid the all the hustle & bustle...

you might call me crazy, but i love being out & about this time of year. once upon a time of early motherhood, i thought it wise to shop for Christmas early with a plan to be wrapped & ready for december 1 so that i could really settle into Advent properly, quietly, reflectively. actually it did seem to make some sense, but do you know what i would do? hide the presents & forget where they were...or worse yet, that i had even bought them in the first place!

after a few seasons of this silliness, i realized that i was also missing being among the mass of humanity preparing for & celebrating the season. i missed the bell-ringers. i missed the hearty greetings rarely exchanged other times of the year. i missed the impromptu conversations struck up in the spirit of the season with others.

so back i am to the routine of old...i do no shopping for Christmas until december 1st! now, for sanity's sake...i go for a simple gift-giving approach~~ one with a budget & one done with love...no buying for the sake of buying, no impulse shopping, no demonstrations of love with dollars. (i do keep a running list of present possibilities throughout the year when inspirations strike!)

and with this task at hand...i go out into the world with joy! i am shopping for those i love. i am shopping for those who cannot. & i have a chance to give a warm smile & word of encouragement to every single person in my journeys.

what about the times when this season raises stress levels & brings out the uglies? (this is bound to be part of the journey...)

i found this timely reminder 2 Christmases ago & have kept it close to read frequently (even in other seasons)...to keep it all in perspective as i go about my path & bump into others on theirs...
Dear God...help us to remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mom who worked nine hours that day and was rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattoed, seemingly disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19 year old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans next semester.

Help us to remember that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day is a slave to addictions that we cannot even imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she received last week, this will be their last year they go shopping together.

Please gently remind us each day, that of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. it is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. open our hearts, not just to those who are close to us, but to all of humanity. Let us be slow to judge, and quick to forgive, to show patience, empathy & love.
i wish i could attribute these beautiful words, but i found them without the author's name. whoever you are...thank you!!


Sunflower said...

I love that. miss you. love u

sognatrice said...

Your description of preparing for the holidays is so peaceful and calm--just as it should be. I got that forward the other day in my inbox, and you're right that those words are definitely good to remember at this time of year.

I almost feel guilty reading posts from the States, though, since "hectic" doesn't exist here even at Christmas; it's much more low-key and even when I was out shopping on Christmas Eve last year, it didn't seem to be much busier than an ordinary Saturday in the "big" town.

Btw, I finally used some of that tahini yesterday...yummmmmmmm!

Roam2Rome said...

So soothing to stop by and visit you!!

My holidays are always so mellow. We are such an enormous family, that we make a gift exchange that must stay under $30... so, each year I only have one (symbolic) gift to get... but we have a lot of fun with other stuff :)

Geggie said...

I received it via email a few weeks ago and it gives me perspective.

Miss Eliza said...

beautiful post! It made me feel peaceful and want to go meander through the mall. we've forgone presents here, but the joy of being out and about is always there... thanks for the reminder!

Andrea said...

Ahhh, so nice to read a bunch of your blogs again! I don't know what it is about you, but that first one, you know all the stuff about forgiving who cut you off in traffic, well I'm totally crying. In the Internet cafe. On the Antalyan coast. Maybe it's because this is the third Xmas we haven't been home, and even though I swear I don't miss the traffic and unnecessary over-gift giving and pressure to decorate and family stress, that I really do miss the good stuff. ;-) Thanks for keeping up with me and for reminding me how great it will be to go home when we feel our mission is over. Happy Holidays dear.

qualcosa di bello said...

sunflower...love you too!

sognatrice...oh how i would love to be where "hectic" doesn't exist! you really have to strive to create that for yourself around here! :)

roam...i think that as our family grows we should consider that idea too...a real stress-reducer!

geggie...exactly!! i look at people much differently when i consider the burdens they might carry..

eliza...like geggie said...it's all about perspective!

andrea...i am loving your travels & the stories they generate! i didn't mean to make you cry in the internet cafe. if i were there beside you, i would give you a tissue & a great big hug...but a cyber one will have to do!