My son said something strange to me last week: “Mom, for Christmas I’m thinking of a really good sacrifice.” (Wasn’t I just thinking of “astonishment
” in my last entry? Well, here I was once again, astonished by my son!)
My mother, who lives with me, was quick to confirm his sentiment. “Yes, Antonio. Christmas is tied to Lent, and both require sacrifice and celebration.” I thought it was a wonderful way to manage the season, what with its ability to make children crazy with gifts galore.
Like the Little Drummer Boy, what will my present be to Christ this Christmas? What am I willing to give up? Here you go then, my own list–and I do hope that there is time, in the craziness of the season, to make yours.1. Down, baby, down
This year (Advent, by the way, is the Church’s New Year!), I promise to stick to having less things. I know this might sound even too little a sacrifice by other people’s standards, but I do hope to not have too many shoes, bags, and accessories. This year, I’d really like to streamline what I own and pare myself down to basic items. I look at my shoe closet and wonder how many pairs of feet I have! I have shoes I’ve only worn once or never even worn at all.
I know for a fact that many of these items were bought on an emotional low. And I’m going to have to learn how to better manage that. Not with food, I hope, but maybe with some thing more productive, such as journaling or writing even more. 2. Mum’s the word.
I’m going to try to be even more mindful of my words. I swear menopause has made me sungit
beyond belief. My temper is quick to rise, especially in the face of incompetence, and I’ve used my tongue and knowledge of words to cut people down to size. It is something I absolutely hate about myself!
So I’m going to have to recite St. Francis’s prayer even more–“to be understood as to understand.” That means keeping my calm, choosing battles, and thinking that the person in front of me is still learning and can be better and that I, in my old age, can help her.3. Earth Champion!
I know these sacrifices should benefit someone else, and yet it seems that the things I’ve chosen benefit me as well. I guess that’s why it’s a good kind of gift.
It’s not going to make a really
big difference, but a difference it still is–at least to me–but I’d like to make a greater effort at really being more earth-friendly. I’ve just started using cloth bags at the grocery, but 9 out of 10 times I forget to bring the bags and go back to using plastic. So I’d like to be more systematic about this.
We do composting at home, and my husband and I have always planned to give seminars to people we know on how to do it. It’s really not that hard, and over time, the ease in recycling becomes a part of your family culture.
The past few years, I’ve gotten into the habit of giving green gifts, but I want to be able to plant more stuff–both in my small garden and on my small farm.
Whew! I think these three might be enough for this year. I will work very, very hard. So here’s my challenge to you: I'd like to know what you're going to give up this Christmas season!
It doesn't have to be big, fancy and stupendous; just something that comes from your heart. So put on your thinking caps and write me back! Would love to hear from you!(Photo source: sxc.hu)