I know each of us have so much to do at this time of year, that it seems impossible to get everything done, but somehow we always seem to manage to do the impossible. If you are like me, you realize at the last minute (too late) that you forgot to send a dear friend a Christmas Card or you forgot to buy a gift for an unexpected guest and it stresses me out, (we don't do gifts anymore) But I'm learning that is not what what I want to teach my granddaughter about Christmas.
Today (day before Christmas Eve) my granddaughter asked me what I was buying for my parents this year for Christmas. I told her "nothing" . She was so shocked. She couldn't understand why I would not buy my parents "anything" for Christmas especially when they are my mommy and daddy. I sat down and tried to explain to her that I give my parents (her great grandparents) the gift of family and memories. Sharing old one and making new ones. So in the Jones Family we don't exchange gifts, but Santa always leaves a gift under the tree for each member of the family. It could be a tube of toothpaste each, a bath towel, hand lotion, etc. It is always something useful and always small in cost and one item only. My family looks forward to finding out what "Santa" has come up with this year that is outside the box.. Sorry I digress. Anyway as my parents and my hubby and I are getting older, their is nothing we need or really want. We are finding material things are just that...material..., so I plan this big meal for Christmas Eve, that is very eclectic. I cook a favorite dish for each member of the family along with some of the traditional Christmas meal. I then have my entire family (if they are in the area) over for dinner, laughter, sharing old memories, remembering family that cannot be with us for whatever reason, discussing the present and our wishes for the future and yes we have even shared a few tears along the way. My mother is not able to do all the family cooking anymore so I have tried to carry on our family tradition of Christmas. We do have gifts for our granddaughter. After we have dinner, she becomes the center of attention and opens her gifts from Nonnie and Poppy and my parents. There are not many so it doesn't take long, but through her, we relive the spirit of Christmas through the eyes of a child. She is one of the many blessings in my life. She has faith that will knock your socks off if you listen to her. Just last Sunday the minister at church said at end of his sermon, if you have a need in your life or the life of someone you love and would like to talk to God about it, I invite you to come to the altar. Our sweet little 6 year old went to the altar all on her own. Later that day she told me she asked Jesus to make her Daddy well for Christmas. She believes with all her heart that he will be able to walk without a cane or walker for Christmas and believe me because of her faith... I am praying so hard that God will grant her the Christmas Miracle she is anticipating. I have digressed again. Anyway our door is always open not only to family but to friends as well who want to stop in for a meal and laughter without having to feel they have to come bearing gifts. If they are here at the time we open our "from Santa" gifts they too will receive the gift of the year (BTW this year it is scented antibacterial foam hand soap for the ladies and spicy sweet onion relish for the gents). See what I mean. Useful! LOL. In all of this I tried to stress to her it is not always buying a present that is the gift, but it is what you do to make other people happy that is the true gift and most of the time it doesn't come wrapped in pretty paper. What makes my parents happy is spending time with their children, grandchildren and great grand. I often sit and watch them as they look at each of us, when they think we don't notice and see the sparkle and pride in their eyes, but mostly I see unconditional love and that truly makes Christmas for me. This is what I want to pass on to my granddaughter... Not worrying about the meal being perfect, the right gifts, of if my house is decorated perfectly or even as clean as it should be or if I forgot someone that is important to me. If they are truly friends, they will know the situation in your life and love you anyway. My dad always says prayer before our meal and he is one of the most humble men you will ever meet. He is always so thankful for all the blessings God has given him and especially for his family. The love of my parents has always been unconditional and always will be. At the end of our conversation she said, "Nonnie what do you want for Christmas and what makes you happy?" I told her, hugs from her and being with my family and friends. I hope you have enjoyed spending a not so traditional Christmas with the Jones Family this year and for all of you We Wish you could be here with us, but since you can't
WE WISH YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS THAT IS FILLED WITH LOVE AND LAUGHTER AND WISHES FOR WONDERFUL BLESSINGS FOR THE NEW YEAR.