9 days until Christmas…

Tick.  Tick.  Tick.

Only 9 days now.

Tick.  Tick.

Christmas will be here soon.  I have this gut feeling… I’m forgetting something.  What is it?  There’s no time to think about it.

Tick.

Time, our most valuable commodity.  Time, our best friend and our worst enemy.  Time is money.  I think the Eagles understand the meaning of time.  In their words, “…you can spend all your love making time.”  I don’t pretend to even come close to understanding love, but isn’t it something about relationships?  Isn’t it about people?

I was talking with my friend Thom the other day, complaining because I didn’t have enough time to get everything done, and he asked, “If you’re saying you don’t have enough time, isn’t that like telling God he didn’t give us enough of it?”  Hmm.  I think he’s right.  Why are we so busy?

I’ve received a few Christmas cards so far this year.  I don’t send Christmas cards anymore, mostly because it’s a Christmas expectation.  It’s that feisty, non-conformist part of me that just won’t do it.  I don’t want to send a meaningless, mass produced piece of cardstock to someone, only for it to get lost in a sea of empty tidings.  Everyone complains about no having the time to prepare their many Christmas cards.  If it’s such a hassle, why do it?  Do we even notice if one of our friends doesn’t send the obligatory Christmas wishes?

I do like seeing the family pictures, as this makes the cards more personal.  This is also where people get creative, maybe because they need to top last years photo or make their card funny so it’s more memorable and stands out from the others.  I have some friends that not only create the funniest cards, they have the next eight years’ ideas planned.  And we all think the same thing, “My, how everyone has changed since last year!”  Time really flies.

The cards I find the most interesting, are the ones containing family updates.  I’m not quite sure where this process originated, but I suppose if you only hear from people once a year, it’s important to catch up on the entire time span.  Limit: one paragraph per person please.  These updates usually reflect the family busyness in a comical way or highlight the achievements of the role-model kids.  If someone read these, without knowing the people, one might believe they have achieved worldly perfection.  Where are the ‘reality cards’, the ones saying it’s been a tough year?  My kids are struggling in school, I lost my job and oh, by the way, you can take his name off the card.  He doesn’t live here anymore.

Tick.  Tick.  Tick.

It takes a lot of time to achieve excellence in anything we do.  This blog is taking a good amount of time to write everyday, so why am I doing it?  I’m doing it to enhance my writing skills and to communicate my Christmas story.  My story is filled with the hatred of consumerism, the love of watching people interact with the ‘season’, the sadness of our culture, the happiness of watching people change that culture, the lack of time and the process of making more time for the right things.

Honestly, when I start writing at 5am, I’m trying to create a masterpiece instead of just writing from my heart.  I don’t spend enough time in my heart, only in my head.  To me, it’s a much safer place to be, although C. S. Lewis would disagree.  Time to reevaluate my goals.  Regroup.  If I’m doing things for the right reasons, not because of an imposed cultural burden or a self-inflicted nonsensical expectation, wouldn’t that give me more time to do the important things in life?

Tick.

I think we try to take all of our normal activities, which there still isn’t enough time in the day to do, add the Christmas craziness on top of it, and we turn into a bunch of crabby Christmas robots, programmed to accomplish, not experience.  No wonder everyone is stressed out.  If it’s how we function as a society all year long, why should Christmas be any different?  Could we change this?  Do we even want to?

Instead of focusing on society’s definition of success, I think I’ll define my own.  The word balance comes to mind again.  Balance of time and achievements.  So what if Cole can’t tie his shoes yet?  Who cares if my kids don’t want to learn to ride a bike?  I don’t want to teach my kids that they have to do what everyone else is doing.  They don’t have to keep up with the Jones’.  Who chose this family to represent our portrait of success?  The thing I find funny here is that nobody has ever met them, although you’ve probably receive a Christmas card from them every year.

Tick.  Tick.

My Christmas cards, if you choose to call them such, are different this year. It’s giving away tiny little gifts to people I know and to those I don’t know.

Your time is valuable, so no, you don’t have to click on other links to figure this out.  Here’s what is posted on the blog:

Why did we give you a tiny envelope with words?  To wish you an inspired, fun and very special Merry Christmas!  There’s a few more reasons, but first here’s a few things you should know.

  • The first thing you need to know is that we did not hand select your words.  All of the words were randomly placed into small envelopes and sealed for your safety.  🙂
  • There are Spanish words because we are encouraging everyone we know to learn a few words.  Then you can go with us to Casa Hogar Elim.
  • We want you to place your words on a metal surface that you look at frequently so you can always remember this – everyone is creative in their own way.  What is your gift?
  • Christmas is about relationships and we want you to remember all year long that we’re glad you’re our friend!

In a nutshell, words are great, but we don’t take enough time to use them.  Once Christmas nears and the exhaustion sets in, and we are all worn down, trying to figure out this whirlwind called Christmas, we might take a few moments to remember something about the birth of a baby.  A baby named Jesus.  Yes, that’s what I’ve forgotten.

Time goes quickly.  Life will pass us by.  Maybe we need a visit from the ghost of Christmas past.

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About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world. View all posts by jody wissing

8 responses to “9 days until Christmas…

  • Nancy

    I’m so glad you’ve taken the time to write these every day, Jody. I know the time involved is a lot, but I and others read them everyday and it’s been great to process along with some of what is certainly changing around here this Christmas!

    By the way, we normally do send out Christmas cards, but chose not to this year. We will probably go back to it next year, but just this once I wanted to not only take away a “task” but also free up money for tinselectomy! =)

  • Pam

    I’d keep your card Jody! We keep all our cards in a big box on the hearth. We pull it out every year, add the new cards, and put it back up with the tree when Christmas is over. I force myself to slow down at least once during the holidays. I sit down and go through all the cards from each year. I remember all the great friends and family that we have, and thank God for each and every one of them. We’ve already had to upgrade the size of our box once. I wonder how big it will be in another 15 years? A cup of coffee and ‘the box’ is a great way to breathe for a bit and try to forget the looming to do list.

  • Kurt

    THANK YOU! Finally someone said it! I HATE the family “news letter” Cards. I mean lets be brutally honest here….If I cared, I would probably talk to you more than once a year.

    Wow I’m a heartless fellow.

  • Diane

    Very well written! (I have a Christmas card for you 😉 ) …. I always love the part in the Peanuts Christmas program where Linus talks — I can see you standing on the stage and saying those works too …

  • Eric

    I would agree with you that your head is a much safer place than your heart. I tend to spend most of my time in my head as well vs. my heart. Even though it’s not as safe spending time in our hearts is very important for our own health. Christmas can be a great time to let our hearts do a little bit of the leading. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree completely with your dislike of the typical Christmas and all of the ritualistic expectations that the world associates with it. I see Christmas as a time when we remember the importance of touching someone else’s life. Now I don’t mean giving some random homeless guy five bucks and moving on. I’m talking about doing something more involved than that. That’s why I think what your doing for Christmas is great! It’s different, unexpected and random (I do love random). Most importantly it has the potential to really touch someone. Great blog! I’m glad I got to read it.

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