Gifts of time and love are …

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”

~ Peg Bracken

We talk about this all the time and it’s something I harp on even more now that I don’t have my parents. When I look back at Christmas Past, I do remember a few gifts that I received. I remember my excitement over getting tapes of my favorite musicians and sitting at Grandma’s for dinner listening to them. I remember the year I turned 16 and my sister was evil, wrapping up a set of car keys in a box, and then telling me that my gift was actually hiding in the car. I thought I had gotten a car, because that’s what most 16-year-olds want for Christmas. And then there were all of those tchotchke gifts that my mother would find near the checkouts at Elder-Beerman. But what I remember the most is the family traditions that we had that made all of our Christmases truly our own. And I remember just spending time with my family every year and greatly wish I could do it again. So treasure those gifts of time and love as you make your Christmas memories. Those are more important than the gifts and material items and the false idea everything has to be perfect.

Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival


“Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival. We require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling.”

~ Graham Greene


Think about this one for a moment. If you’re like me, at first that whole “feast of failure” thing sounds a bit odd. But when you really chew on what Graham is saying here, it starts to make more sense. We have a tendency to forget about people during the rest of the year. Perhaps we get into stupid arguments over trivial things. We forget to cherish our relationships. Work and other happenings end up taking precedence over our relationships with our friends and family. In short, we are often failing at being the best that we can be with those friends and family.

And then the magic of Christmas comes along. We remember how much we love our friends and family. Yes, we may buy them presents, but we also often honor each other with our presence. Those moments of appreciation and quality time heal those wounds that we didn’t realize we were starting to create over the past 11 months. We become better people.

Isn’t that why we have all of those feel-good Christmas books and movies? We talk about wanting that Christmas spirit all year long. I think it is because we realize that we lose a lot of those feelings and want to do better.

How do you feel at this time of year?