Monday, December 29, 2008

Winding Down

Christmas is done for 2008, unless you plan to celebrate later than the 25th with family or friends. For the next few weeks in January, The Word Quilters will help you wind down and give you tips for tucking Christmas tinsel away but also give you hints for keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in your hearts throughout the year.

A couple of questions this week: Did you discover anything new about celebrating? Tangible or intangible? When do you typically take down your Christmas decorations? Are you sad when "Christmas" comes down?

I made this discovery this year, that everything doesn't have to be orchestrated: I kept my three-year-old granddaughter, Jolie, one day, while her brother, Jack, and his friends were birthday partying, doing guy stuff at my daughter’s home. In my pantry, Jolie saw a line-drawing of a cookie on a granulated sugar package and said, “I want to decorate cookies with sprinkles.” This grandma’s schedule didn’t include baking and the mess of frosting and multi-colored sprinkles that day. I remembered that I had vanilla wafers, a can of opened frosting in the fridge and the always-on-hand sprinkles (Jolie and my favorite quick pick me up is a spoon of peanut butter dipped into marshmallow creme and dotted with any kind of baking sprinkles).

Within minutes, I had her set up and frosting vanilla wafers. She had a fantastic time. She said she was making hers for “Jack’s party.” We later went to her home and a few of the boys were spending the night. My daughter said, “Mom, you won’t believe this. They kept coming into the kitchen and eating the frosted vanilla wafers, saying, 'Your little sister made these? They're delicious." So, that helped me learn that for children and adults the activity of doing something together doesn't have to be a big production and the results are often warm, fuzzy and covered with sprinkles.

When do you put away Christmas? Some friends of mine have the tree down by dusk on Christmas day. I usually put my tree up after December 15th, so I don't mind having it out through New Year's Day. I usually put away Christmas things after January 1st, but I leave out a small Nativity year round. It reminds me of a mother and child who both sacrificed. It's carved out of a white piece of limestone and we inhertied it from my husband's grandmother's estate. It's only about four by six inches and I keep it on an end table near our sofa for us and visitors to see.

Here is a New Year habit of mine that I do rather than resolutions. Each year I chose a theme scripture. Some years it is about an area of life that I want God's hand fully there in a special way--rescuing, delivering or altering. Other years, I may choose a scripture that fits upcoming projects that need completion, or I may choose a verse that fits hopes I have. This year, I chose the following because I refuse to choose to listen to the doom and gloom of media. I know the reality of a downturn in the economy and hardships, but I choose God's abundance: "You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance" (Psalm 65:11). In 2009, I will be frugal but I will also shop at his marketplace for the really good deals.

Happy New Year. May 2009 be crowned with his bounty for your household...Cathy Messecar

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