General chatter - My thoughts on snow!

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11-30-2006, 10:28 AM
Snow. Simple.

When we woke up this morning, there were snow flurries floating around the windows of our humble little house. It is amazing and humorous how exciting those little flurries were. For one, itís precipitation for our West Texas desert plants. But most importantly, it reminds us that winter is here. How simple.

This takes me back to Christmases when I was a kid. There never seemed to be any fighting over which grandparents we would spend it with. Christmas just happened. It was never forced. It was joyous and glorious. The Christmas Eve Vesper Service at Randolph AFB Chapel One was just as enjoyable as opening our presents. My sisters and I loved singing those beautiful hymns to the heavens and could see God smiling down on us in our matched Christmas dresses. Our faces were filled with awe when all the candles were lit, representing the North Star leading the shepherds to Jesusí side or representing the fact that Jesus is indeed the light of the world and especially the reason for the season. If we were having financial troubles, our parents never let on and we were none the wiser. Christmas was beautiful and awe-inspiring. It was a time to focus on our reason for salvation and our families. It was a time to rejoice and also to remember that there are always those that are less fortunate than us.

Since when did Christmas become a chore? Why do our lights have to be the prettiest on the block? And why do our presents to others have to send us into debt? Do we really think that our families and friends are so greedy for phenomenal presents that they want us to have to charge up our credit cards to do it? I wish we could bring back the days when Christmas caroling was a joy and not a nuisance. When every house in town was empty on Christmas Eve because every person was in church celebrating the real reason we have Christmas. Days when storefronts boasted their wares and the children stood in awe. Christmases when we were grateful for what we had and didnít notice what we didnít. This year I challenge myself to let Christmas just happen for my family and myself. Maybe this should be the year we let Christmas just be that, CHRISTmas. Simple.

11-30-2006, 10:44 AM
Very eloquently stated.

And, yes:

Do we really think that our families and friends are so greedy for phenomenal presents that they want us to have to charge up our credit cards to do it?

My mil told my dh that if we couldn't do any better on their gifts this year than we did last year then they just didn't want anything at all (she got $40 worth of soap and lotion from Crabtree & Evelyn that she said was "old stuff that I didn't like so I gave to her" and a magazine subscription--which was really all she told me she wanted--I gave her the other stuff so she'd have a gift to open on Christmas Day.)


11-30-2006, 10:50 AM
BTW, this wasn't meant to offend anybody. These are just my beliefs and I felt justified in expressing them. I appreciate and respect all other beliefs, but would kindly ask that this not become an arguement thread. That is definitely not the reason it was written. I appreciate it greatly, Kim. :D

11-30-2006, 12:26 PM
What if instead of trading Christmas presents we took the amount of time spent shopping and wrapping and fretting and spent it having lunch or going ice skating or on vacation together? We could spend the same amount of money, but actually have something that was significant and impacted our lives. We could have memories and embrace the meaning of family at Christmas as opposed to a rushed, helter skelter affair that has been bought out by commercialism.

11-30-2006, 12:34 PM
Your thoughts and sentiments are beautiful. Thank you for saying it.

11-30-2006, 01:24 PM
So well written, you brought tears to my eyes.

A few weeks ago I laid in bed crying to my husband so worried about how we were going to buy our families gifts this Christmas. The past few years he has gotten a nice little Christmas bonus and this year is in a different position and not expecting one at all. He assured me it will all work out as it always does. Well I have been in a huge panic about giving my mom and mother-in-law the PERFECT gifts, my wanting to please them really has gotten out of control! Anyway, I felt so ashamed last night when my mom called and asked if I had gotten her anything yet. I said no (lying of course) and asked what she wanted. She wants a charm for her braclet to represent her grandkids. I felt so stupid, here I am worrying about giving her a nice expensive gift and all she wants is a charm that cost 5 dollars max!

The true meaning of Christmas for me has gotten lost somewhere in the hussle and bussle of the season! My kids are 2 and 3 and have no clue what all this really means yet and here I am worried about buying them tons of toys! My godness I know better! Thank you for reminding us the true meaning of CHRISTmas! Today I will not worry about keeping the house clean for holiday guests but make cookies with the kids, I will not worry about hubby dragging in unwanted snow but go outside and grab a snowball and get him while he checks his e-mails!

Happy Holidays Chicks!!

11-30-2006, 07:21 PM
The best gift for christmas or any other such festival is "The thoughts involved" and "The time spent" while getting gifts, making meals, decorating houses.... and not really the actual gifts. (remember grinch!?!)

How much time do we all specially take out of our busy lives thinking about all who are our loved ones? I think the whole purpose of our ancestors to make this system called "festivals" was to bring people closer and celebrate the joy in our lives. Its such a beautiful concept I think! (I get to see my family only once in a year if that....its hard to be all alone without a support system or someone to celebrate joy/share my problems with...Now I realize that those get togethers were never about gifts or showing off!)

BTW, Talking of snow...I have never seen snow in my whole life!!! I would love to catch falling snow one day!

11-30-2006, 09:10 PM
I have a fairly large extended family, and this year instead of everyone buying useless presents for each other, we're pooling the money and donating to Heifer International, a charity that sends farm animals to poor families around the world. I guess we felt the same way you feel-- why waste money on crap when you could be helping those less fortunate?

12-01-2006, 02:27 PM
maegdaeien...That is very noble thing to do. My mom does something similar. She has virtually adopted a child from a orphanage...(you dont have to bring the child at home..but just pay for their school,food,clothes,games etc...and they send you the child's report card, photos etc and you could also go visit the child whenevr you wish to)
She donates all gifts, money etc there every year and infact we asked her to donate all our wedding gifts there too)

12-01-2006, 02:43 PM
That is awesome willmakeit and maegdaeien! That is the kind of Christmas story I love to hear. Instead of doing Secret Santa at our office this year, we're all putting that money towards making food baskets for families in our area. DH and I also decided to match what we are spending on presents, decorations, and Christmas dinner and travel this year and donate it to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It means we will have to cut our spending in half to meet our budget, but Christmas will still be wonderful! Plus, it will make my mil, (who is the toughest to please) happy because the donation will be made in her honor since she is a breast cancer survivor.

4myself: DH and I did this to his stepsister last year and I think it will work on MILs as well. ;) She was that way with all of the family about presents. Why is there so little? You spent more money on him/her. Etc., etc. She made the mistake of uttering the same words your MIL uttered. "I'd rather not get anything than get bad presents every year." So, last year, we adopted a family and gave them presents in her name. All we gave her was a card that said, "Merry Christmas. Because of your generous spirit, the ----- family was able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas as well." At first she didn't like that, but when she got a thank-you card from the family, she changed her attitude. This year she didn't ask for anything over $20 and she adopted another family through the same program we used. Christmas can change people!!