Then again, there is so much more.
I’ve seen many photos of how others are ready or on the way to ready for Christmas. Their homes are magazine quality decorated, their trees real or artificial decorated lovingly and lovely. Under, and in some cases around, the trees are multitudes of brightly wrapped packages.
Then there is my house. While I do have some lights strung outside that is the most of my outside decorations. I’m smart enough to know what my two dogs would do to anything within their reach. Inside I’ve done some, but my house is not designed in a manner that would be decorator friendly. Most of what I have is not new, but still holds that magical beauty of Christmas.
Years past, our tree was among those that had gifts brightly wrapped and stacked all about. We would watch each other glance at the gifts and attempt to guess the contents of the boxes. Times are different now. Here we are, a little over two weeks from Christmas, and under our tree is bare. But, while there are no boxes or bags, there is something else, something grander.
The gifts of God’s blessings. Yes we have a home that we worked hard to purchase, but so many times it could have easily been lost. Those times when my husband was out of work and it took a while before the next job appeared. Yes, we have food. Yes we have a warm home, largely thanks to those who have given us firewood so as not to have to use up all the propane. Our clothing may not be stylish and new, but it keeps us decent and warm. I know, that by the standards of some, we are poor, but by the standards of others, we are rich. I will say we are wealthy in non material ways, because it isn’t all in the money.
But there are different gifts, better gifts.
The gift of love from family and friends.The health and strength to continue to do what is needed.The understanding of struggles and the healing that comes.My son and I taking care of each other, not solely as parent and son, but also as friends.A faith that keeps me grounded and yet has me reaching upward.A faith that reminds me that life isn’t about what I have, but what I can give. What and who I can take care of.
Under the tree may be empty of material gifts, boxes and bags, but it is full of memories and love. It is filled with what won’t be, can’t be found in any store. It is found in the heart, and that’s fine with me.