Monday, November 30, 2009

Of clocks and attitudes

I awoke this morning to the shrill sound of the alarm clock. The Thanksgiving holiday is over and life returns to "normal", at least for the next week or two. Christopher will not purchase a parking permit until after this semester ends so we will be taking him to classes and picking him up each evening (the prorated cost will be cheaper in January)... yawn. How we wish he could have held on to the employee parking permit until that time.

Our first significant snow is in the forecast for later this week. I have a love-hate relationship with snow. LOVE the way it looks here in the country, HATE driving on slick roads. :)

Once I arrive home, I plan to assemble the Christmas tree, keep the blog up on the laptop to listen to Christmas music... and start the process of going down memory lane as beloved ornaments are brought out of their containers and carefully placed on the tree. This year I have a few more vintage ornaments found at Goodwill to tuck among the branches.

Over the years I have scaled down my decorations a great deal but I still have plenty. Those which are left are either the most important as far as nostalgia, their decorative appeal, or in the case of the tacky musical snowmen on a sled... I am reminded of the person who gave the item to me (in this case, my sister Bonnie). :)

Decorating the house cost me only time and no money since I do have quite a collection of decorations. This year I don't plan on decorating as much as usual but I will make certain the most important items are displayed.

There are so many things we can do for the Season which requires no money. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent a couple delightful evenings curled up on the living room sofa listening to the concerts PBS was showing. My husband watched one of his favorite Christmas movies (Ebbie) Sunday afternoon.

Everything we do this year has to be cost free but there is a great deal available. If our Christmas spirit depended on how much money we could spend then we may as well become like Scrooge. Instead candles are lit, music is played, the tree is decorated, tea is brewed, movies are watched, books are read, prayers are said, thanks is given to the Giver of all life... and since we are picking up our son after dark... brightly lit homes are appreciated.

It's all in the attitude...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brenda,
I appreciate your post today. For many years I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. Always trying to remind myself and my family of the real reason we are celebrating. Somehow even with well intentions I was still getting stressed and going a little crazy by Christmas day. I always admired my sister-in-law and her family who lived with hardly nothing. She always looked the happiest on Christmas eve. She looked so content and at peace having not been at the malls and baking for everyone she thought needed something. My other sister-in-law and I always were up late the night before doing everything and then spending the day exhausted with migraines.

Last year we really cut back anticipating a layoff for my husband. I didn't do half of what I did for years. My kids said it was their best Christmas in a long time. There was more of me to give to them. They were 22, 18, and 12 at the time. We had so much more time to read the Bible together, listen to music, play games, drive in the van with popcorn looking at Christmas lights. It was really special.

My husband was laid off the last day of January. He has now been unemployed for 10 months. I hadn't worked outside the home since my oldest was born 22 years ago. This year will be even less materially but so much more in ways that really matter. It has been so freeing to not have to worry about doing it all. I have even decided not to put as many decorations up. I have been putting things out for years because I thought I had to. I am getting rid of some things and just keeping the things I really like. Less clutter keeps me happy. :)

Thanks again for your post. Have a wonderful day putting up your Christmas decorations and enjoying Jesus.

By the way, my husband is an engineer too. Electrical in the automotive field.

Debbie in MI

Mrs.Rabe said...

Brenda,

Your post is so encouraging! It really is all in the attitude!

There is so much free stuff to do at the holidays especially and it is the doing of it together that builds the memories! We love the concerts on PBS and the often cheesy Christmas movies on tv. My decorations are ones we have gathered over the years and reuse every year, sometimes in different ways.

This year I wanted more of a cozy lodge feel so I just focused on the greenery, plaid ribbon (without gold thread running through) pine cones, soft lighting and candles.

Our gifts to others will be homemade, some edible. Our focus will be on the Lord and his coming...

Dawn said...

Love this post today. We don't have much money, but money can't really buy you happiness or security. My daughter and I love to spend time together watching old Christmas specials on DVD. One of our favorites is Emmet Otter's Christmas, by Jim Henson. It always reminds us that it's not how much money you have, but the love you share that makes Christmas so special. We had a turkey in the freezer that we did not use for Thanksgiving, so we donated it to our church food cupboard to bless others that may not be able to afford one. We may just get a chicken for Christmas this year, but that's okay..

scrappy quilter said...

Brenda, this is one of the best posts I've read about our attitude at Christmas. So very true!!

Hugs..

Anonymous said...

Brenda,
You are so right about attitude. On my husband's side of the family, the presents are a really big deal. None of them are Christians, so the true reason for the season is not important to them. My side of the family doesn't get together because we're so scattered. We like to decorate. My husband has made alot of our outside decorations over the years and really enjoys doing it. We especially love when people stop and get out to look and comment, not so we can pat ourselves on the back, but that the Lord would use us to encourage someone that might be going thru a tough time, and that for just a moment, they might be able to forget about their troubles and be blessed and encouraged by a few monents of conversation. You never know what someone may be going through, and a kind word or maybe a hug might help them get thru another day.
I have been blessed and encouraged many times by your posts. Especially on those not so great days. Thanks for all you share.
Char

Heather said...

I love your post Brenda - you are speaking my heart in words I cannot seem to find right now! I've just been amazed at the lack of joy about Christmas this year! When did it become 'something to get through' or worse, 'survive'? These are comments I have heard from Christians - folks who should know better than to feed into the media frenzy, allow the atmosphere of commercialized panic to prevail and forget the simple joys of the Best Gift of all time! May we all find the simple pleasures that cost nothing and mean everything!

carla said...

Nice post. Sounds like you have lovely Christmas plans, just not the ones that our debased culture is insisting on.

Really enjoyed the comments by Debbie and Char.

In 1985, my husband had been out of work for 9 months and we had to be very, very careful with what little money we had. Our sons were 10 and 4. I was very concerned, but you know, it was one of the most memorable Christmas' we've had.

It's way too easy to put myself in neutral and not even think about things - why we do something or if it's even right. But reduced circumstances encourage us to stop and re-think. At least, that's what they've done to me and it's still so.