It’s time, it’s time!!
Christmas is here and so this, (at least by intention) will be the shortest post of my blogging life! This fun day started out with twinkling lights in the dark, seen while running across the Narrows Bridge with this crazy and fun running family I was welcomed into 5 years ago. The (second) annual Christmas-Eve-run-across-the-Narrows is ALWAYS followed by coffee at Starbucks (because of course it is and yes, doing something twice makes it a tradition,) where we linger over coffee and laughter and reminisce over last year and plan for next year until one by one we head out to what our individual day holds for us.
This morning was made especially special because my new (running, Girls on the Run, music-adoring, crafty, generous, FUN) friend Ruthie joined us (which required her to get up MUCH earlier than the rest of us- Yeah Ruthie!) The day continues with cooking and reading and phone calls and Christmas Eve service and dinner with friends and various other preparations and celebrations, but I couldn’t miss taking these few minutes to say Merry Christmas Eve to all of you, my friends!! Here are my (short and “sweet”) words to you this December 23rd afternoon (in WA at least!)
Thank you! Thank you for your friendships and for the way you have been so generous with your time and feedback and encouragement and support as I (intermittently) share my words with you here in this space. Thank you for the way you make me feel less crazy when you say “me too”! Thank you for the way you say “thanks” when something I say makes a difference in your life- that is the greatest gift you could ever give me, so with all sincerity, thanks.
More than any of that, THANK YOU for the way you supported, in words and thoughts and actions, the (snow) Angel project! When I first posted about this I had no idea how it would turn out. Then as I told you here, I was a little discouraged for a few days, until suddenly there were so many of you writing with people in your lives that could use some Christmas angels. THEN, the way you guys responded just made me feel overwhelmed with gratitude most days. You gave sleeping bags and lights and money to help those who don’t have beds or walls to sleep in feel warm this winter, which is a gift that is just too hard to explain the meaning of. I’m not sure those of us who’ve never had to worry about that COULD ever really understand. You gave enough money to help a grade-school child (in an immigrant community with great need) to be able to attend school using public transportation for almost an entire year, (with enough money to hopefully help his community a little in other ways this season). You made Christmas happen for two families who are hurting and holding on for better days and I’m not sure we’ll ever really know all the ramifications of that kind of gift. You gave 8 new beds to a hospital in Ethiopia where this is truly a gift of health and life! You gave diapers and clothes and shoes and toys and other things I don’t even know about and for that I am so truly grateful to call you friends. I would like to note also that so many of you already give to your own friends and family and community and neighbors and that makes me just as happy as connecting you to people here. Basically, thank you for your generosity and for reminding me that it’s ALWAYS in giving (in tangible and intangible ways) that we “get” the most. Or as one of my (eloquently worded) friends put it:
“I can’t tell you how much my heart and soul needed to do this. They should be getting lots and lots of Amazon packages (plus a gift card for groceries) in the next week or so. I really hope it helps. Goodness knows it has already helped me more than anything else this season. Tis better to give…”
So, again, thank you for being the awesome community that you are!
I’d love to sign off for the year by sharing an article that I’ve really been thinking about these last two weeks (written by Joshua Becker, a “minimalist” blogger whose approach really resonates with me). It’s written from the standpoint of setting expectations for children for Christmas, but I think it’s pretty applicable to all of us who live in this first-world nation of plenty.
I read this right around the time of our last book club (yeah for the first year of book club which turned out to be one of the highlights of my year!!). We went around and shared our favorite memories (as we were sharing tasty treats!) of Christmases past. You know what? EVERY SINGLE ONE of us shared a memory of a moment– with parents, siblings, children, friends, spouses, community- memories of time and experiences with others that shaped our lives long after the moment had passed. We reflected that in light of realizing the importance of the memories of Christmas (over any gifts we did or didn’t get that we didn’t remember all these years later), maybe we should focus on creating those with our families and trusting that those moments will be the things that last through the years.
It is with a very full and grateful heart that I say Merry Merry Christmas Eve to all of you.
I hope that the past month and the next few days are filled with good food and laughter and good drink and good runs and beautiful sights and a few fun things you might have been hoping for. More than any of that however, I wish that each of you has moments with your people whoever they may be, that you are recalling at a book club or cookie exchange years from now as you think back on your favorite Christmas memories. Moments like these:
Much love and peace to you all!