Of slight interest: My Aunt Millie is related to my sister's Aunt Myrtle and this post is actually intended for our church newsletter, so if you're a church friend reading this, sorry about the repeat! (grin)
Would you believe I never put the Christmas decorations away last year? I intended to return them to their appropriately festive red and green plastic tubs in the basement, but time has a tendency to skip merrily along, so there sit the ribbons and gold angels, in a laundry basket on top of the refrigerator. Occasionally, they call my name - usually when I’m reaching in the fridge for a spoonful of the chocolate frosting that I’ve hidden on the bottom shelf (behind the science project growing in a sandwich bag). I don’t mean to ignore them, but time has a tendency to skip merrily along. The angels’ identity could have been better preserved if I had remembered to follow through on my idea of covering the basket with a towel to prevent a dust colony from taking up residence. I thought I would get to that eventually, but time has a tendency to skip merrily along.
Christmas lists formerly requesting gifts inspired by Blue’s Clues step aside for gift suggestions inspired by Blue Man Group. Lego's and toy soldiers lie forgotten in the attic, while PlayStation and XBox endlessly amuse. Matchbox cars give way to car keys. Barbie, replaced by mascara and eye shadow, is relegated to a storage room. Clothing was rarely a cherished gift; gift certificates for American Eagle are now perfectly acceptable, because time has a tendency to skip merrily along.
The problem with the whole time-skipping thing is that it just keeps doing it, with no regard to how I feel! It seems like just yesterday the kids were waking us at 5:00 am to tell us Santa had brought presents. Now they’re all old enough to be content with opening presents at a respectable hour, after eating breakfast. Before long, they’ll be calling us to find out what time Christmas dinner is being served.
Maybe I shouldn’t refer to it as “time-skipping”. Maybe a better phrase is “time-saving”. Not taking a short cut, but rather a remembrance of time - a mental scrapbook, so to speak. I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets so involved in daily routine that I forget to enjoy the daily routine. The little things. The “remember when...” The rituals and traditions, especially holiday traditions. One of our family traditions is to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” while we’re decorating our Christmas tree. This tradition causes the ritual eye-rolling to commence, and someday will offer the “remember when” conversations. This is an opportunity to time-save.
This Christmas, what can you do to time-save? What is important in your life? Are there things that you can eliminate to help you better appreciate the real reason we have Christmas? Have you considered the idea of slowing down? Do you really need to attend 74 family functions in 2 days? Will Great-Great Aunt Millie really have that breakdown she’s been promising if you don’t let her spend the holidays at your home? Maybe you like your mother-in-law’s fruitcake - tell her! What about starting a new tradition, like inviting a lonely co-worker to Christmas dinner? or temporarily, for the holidays, adopting a family less fortunate than you? or taking a family vacation instead of buying gifts that don’t fit, require too many batteries, won’t start, are ugly colors, and/or aren’t worth remembering two days later? or just taking a few days off work to relax? It’s ok to do that, really!
Have a blessed holiday season, and remember that Jesus came to give you life abundant, so enjoy!