Thursday, December 19, 2013

Really Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting ready for Christmas is not for the faint of heart. 
If we were to follow everyone on the web (especially on Pinterest) our homes would 
look as if they were staged for the merriest of holidays, and we would have spent hours making them so. 
Some don't even like to decorate... my own mother became morose at Christmas, and my dad and my sister and brothers and I did all the tree buying and decorating.  
As she aged, mother would put less and less "Christmas" up, until she ended with 
one decoration, which I would unwrap yearly and put out for her, and 
pronounce the Christmas season started, and we would both laugh. 

Off on a tangent again, sorry. 

Anyway... for some it's hard.  I'm going to take a little story from an 
Advent book I've been reading at church during our Monday meditation time this Advent. 
Here it goes... and it is unattributed....

Why Am I Doing This? 

She lived alone, as so many do.  And she felt it especially at Christmas, as so many do. 
Decorating her Christmas tree, she began to argue with herself, an argument she'd had before
several times in these days before Christmas. "Why am I doing this, no one will see it, and I 
don't need it". 

Then she heard herself say: 

"You HAVE to do this. Not so that others will see it, but to remind yourself that 
the hope is real - not just words or a dream. It's real.  Jesus really DID come.  And so you really have a tree, and you decorate it,  and you buy real gifts, and you go to Midnight Mass (or your own church on Christmas), and you have a real Christmas dinner.  This is how you keep the hope alive and real."

Sometimes we forget this. 
Yesterday, I got a call from a family member who makes very little in her job.  She had a problem... a friend of her son's (my grandson) was going to have a VERY meager Christmas.  As it was, we had already bought a present for this nice young man, away back in November.  I just got back from a shopping trip for him this morning, even though I have a house to clean thoroughly and some baking to finish.  Because this young man needs to know that despite his sad family situation, the things written about above are true... that hope is real, and Christmas is a reminder of it. 

I know some who read this are non-believers... but I hope concern for your fellow man still lies in your hearts.  Not everyone expects to have a decent Christmas... and we can't help everyone... it's just not possible.  But if we all pull together and try to help AS MUCH AS WE CAN... we can make someone else's Christmas all about hope, too. 

I had a "regular" post to do today... but I think I will wait until tomorrow morning to do it.  I'll be facing a drive to Garnett tomorrow in the bad weather, so everyone say a prayer, please. 

Waiting for the Christ child to come on Christmas Eve.  Hope Comes Down, too. 


  1. This is such a beautiful post Mary Ann, I have goose bumps when I read it! We needed these words to help us remember why we get up in the morning. We just never know do we when someone else may be having a much worse day than we are. Today on the phone someone thanked me so much for being kind to them and helping them find the information they were needing to find. Sometimes it takes only kind words and in your case, with that young man, kind acts. I am honored to know you and your friendship is indeed a treasure to me.
    Stella Rose's Momma

  2. I'm one of those with no Christmas spirit. I don't know if it comes from having no children or because Christmas holds no good memories for me. It wasn't an especially happy time growing up that I think it should be.

    But, now with a new niece in the picture, I'm going to try and do better. I want her to be a very happy child and grown up and know love like we didn't have as children.

    Be careful on your drive.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I will be out all next week. And you know I don't computer from home.

  3. Mom Kim here - Oh I am so very glad I stopped by today - I needed to read that little passage above. Though I do decorate and have a nice Christmas dinner with my sis and whoever else is there, I am slow at finishing the decorating. I think some of it may be due to what you said, "Why am I doing this, no one will see it, and I don't need it". Well, I realized after reading this that I DO NEED IT! For various reasons including keeping hope alive. The past four years have been hard for me and not sure how much easier, if at all, the future will be BUT keeping that hope alive and my faith in Jesus plus I have a pictture of my mom holding me shortly after I was born - my mom died in 1990 but her final Christmas she went all out and the family helped - big dinner for family, friends and relatives and decorations throughout the house - gotta keep her memory alive and MY house decorated. So your blog post today was very timely for me indeed.

  4. What a beautiful Advent reflection. Yes we do need to co Christmas for others. So nice you found out about your grandson in time to do something.

  5. Oh Mary Ann
    Your post is beautiful and so meaningfull to me.
    For everything there is a time and a season, and this was the perfect time for you to post these words-
    Thank you for helping make Christmas real to us.

  6. I feel the same way you do, lovely post - lovely thing you've done there. Merry Christmas indeed -

  7. Dear Mary Ann, this is such a wonderful post. Christmas is for sharing what we have; love, joy and hope. I am so glad there are good people in the world like you, thank you for reminding us of what this season is all about.


I love comments!