We'll be wrapping up the Christmas blog daily posts by the end of January, but I'm wondering if you readers would like for us to weigh in on a specific subject next year? We are now making up our blog schdule for summer and fall of 2009. We left lots of holiday areas uncovered. If so, leave a comment, let us know. We plan to begin posting again in July, Christmas in July, you know.
At our family gathering with 47 at our home the Saturday after Christmas, we had one family member who sat out the activities in favor of a quiet spot in another area of my home. This person had some work that needed to get done, so while we were all polite to him/her, speaking, but not conversing long, we pretty much followed their expressed wishes.
Of course, my adult daughter was the only one who was brave enough to ask, "Hey, are you feeling anti-social today?"
However, quite a few family members asked me over the next week, "What was wrong with _____________?" Without bad mouthing the person to the questioner, I just said they had work to do and needed to be quiet and alone. I think their behavior did put a bit of a damper on the gathering. I heard several ask the person's immediate family as to why the "worker" wasn't joining in the fun, not even eating.
Here's my point, plenty of times we go to events where we really didn't have our heart in going--maybe we were tired or left a mini-van full of work at home, but to honor the hosts, I think it's best to be charitable and engage pleasantly. When I manage to be gracious, even though I don't feel like it, somehow, I end up getting the blessing. It's that simple rule of the giver receiving more than the receiver.
I heard about a speaker at a women's renewal who got up and gave a five minute introduction about how she hadn't really had time to prepare, making every woman in the room probably wish she could jump up, run out, and not waste her time sitting through someone's confessed ill-prepared speech. The friend who told me that said, the speaker had burdened the audience when she should have been there to give and uplift.
Unless you've just had horribly tragic news, most of us can find the stamina and grace to step away from our personal feelings to be a giver.
Speaker, listener, host or guest, be ready to "give," not detract.