I’m both fascinated by and repulsed with Christmas as I know it in my culture.  The artist/decorator in me oohs and aahs over the sparkle and the glamour of all those shiny ornaments lining aisle after aisle in practically every store out there.  I have to confess that I’ve already gone to Leons to check out how they did their tree and tablesettings this year.  There is someone very talented working at that establishment and I’m drawn like a bee to honey to their artistry.  I’ve also checked out Martha Stewart, that maven of all things beautiful, to see if she had any fresh offerings online for the upcoming season.  I’m not looking to buy.  I’m looking because I like to look at pretty things.

Pretty things cost money.  If I purchased even half of the things that catch my breath I’d be rather poor by now.  This is one of the things about Christmas that repulses me.  The expectation is that you’ll spend, spend, spend with reckless abandon on things that you don’t really need and on gifts that your loved ones don’t really want.  I totally believe in living my wage.  I also wonder if buying baubles and trim to deck the halls is the best use of the money I’ve been entrusted with.  The price I’d pay for a modest wreath could feed a child in and impoverished country for over a month after all.  I know because I’ve been perusing those gift catalogs.

So, on the one hand I really want to decorate for the season and on the other hand I don’t because I feel that my time and resources could be better spent elsewhere.  What to do?  Talk to my Heavenly Father about it, that’s what.

There are times I bring things before God and clearly get an answer.  Then there are those times where I present my questions and there is nothing but silence.  I can’t say that God clearly told me which hand to go with on this one.  What I did consider were my own children.  Sometimes I have clear instructions and expectations of D and P.  Other times I don’t and the boys being boys naturally go off and play.  They are unique individuals, my children.  Play for my eldest son usually involves something scientific.  He watches science programs on TV, researches science related stuff on the internet and conducts experiments in the name of science whenever he has spare time.  I don’t like the garbage trail he leaves in his wake but I must say that I do enjoy D being D.  When it comes to his science projects, there’s a twinkle in his eyes, a quickness to his step and an enthusiasm in his voice.  It’s obvious he’s in his element and I can’t help but smile.  P, on the other hand, likes sports in his spare time.  I can often hear him pleading with his brother to go outside with him to bump a volleyball, kick a soccer ball, play hockey or shoot some baskets.  He comes in panting from exhaustion after playing, his cheeks apple red and his smile stretching from ear to ear.  It brings joy to me to see him so enjoying himself.

I wonder if God enjoys seeing me play.  I’m not a science or sports type of gal.  Play for me is a walk in the woods with my camera along.  Second to that is decorating.  No one has to tell me to rearrange furniture, to try putting this throw over there, to hold up that picture against that wall to see how it will look.  Like D naturally gravitates towards science and P to sports, I’m drawn to making things pretty.  I like to think that God can relate.  One of the most wonderful things about walking in the big, wide world is taking in God’s masterpieces.  He’s a colour expert, the master at texture and His handiwork is more than just visual; it’s a feast for all the senses.  Like me, He’s always changing things.  We’re now fully into Autumn where God goes monochromatic.  Pretty much everything turns some shade of brown this time of year.  Soon winter will come where God will show us the beauty of white and what He can do with light and shadow as a medium.  He’s an artist too.

Since I’m not getting any clear instructions regarding Christmas, I’ve decided I’m going to play.  I’ll pull out what I already have in the way of decorations and have some fun with that and maybe even purchase a few of those shiny things that so catch my eye.  Whatever I spend for myself, I’ll be sure to at least double for those who haven’t been as blessed as I’ve been this year.  I hope that my Heavenly Father will see me having fun and that He’ll smile that his daughter is so enjoying herself.  I’m not sure Christmas is so much about right and wrong.  I think it’s a lot more about bringing joy to my Heavenly Father.  I can’t help but think that He’ll be pleased with me being just silly old me.

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