There are just a few more days until Christmas. Nobody panic!
I suspect that if you’re not panicking it is either because you’re got everything under control or you don’t but you’re just too tired to panic at this point.
My kids are still in school, so I think that makes it easier navigate this lead up to Christmas when we’re still operating with our normal school and work schedules.
I have spent some time this month, while the energy of Christmas swirls around me, reflecting on our year. Our life this year has been, I’m sure, similar to other people’s lives. The horrors persist, but so do we.
Sarcasm aside, our year has had its ups and downs. There are things that went really well. There are things that could have gone better. There are things we are looking forward to in the future.
One topic we’ve been talking about as a family is the idea of leaving a situation better than you found it. Were you the cog in the wheel or part of the solution? Did your interactions with others have a positive influence or a negative drag? Did you do the best you could with the proverbial hand that was dealt?
Our kids do a lot eye rolling when this topic comes up (as if that ever deters a parent) but we’re convinced that the attitudes and values that stem from these discussions will help them and, perhaps, the world, later in life.
There’s a poem by Howard Washington Thurman, who, among other things, was a minister and civil rights leader, that seems particularly well suited to this topic and the holidays.
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
…To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.”
I love this poem so much because it is a reminder that the work to do good, to leave the world better than we found it, must go on. It must continue after the magic of the holidays.
Most of us will not live our lives on a national or international stage. We will not be the movers and shakers in the limelight. We will be the quiet people volunteering locally, donating money or time when we can, picking up trash on our street, waving at the postman, lending a tool to a neighbor, voting in elections, making art that connects people and ideas, and countless other small, positive things that all combined can make the world a better place for everyone.
You know I love sharing poems here almost as much as I love sharing home projects and crafty ideas. Howard Washington Thurman wrote another poem that speaks far more eloquently than I ever could to this idea of small acts and attitudes that are long-lasting.
“I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.”
Thank you for sharing part of your day with me. I hope it was one of many bright spots in your day. Here’s another blog post you might enjoy.