By Andrea Boeshaar
White lights gleam and colored bulbs glow from fake, frosty tree limbs. Sparkly ornaments beckon to shoppers as they pass by. Ah, it's Christmastime, the most wonderful time of the year.
I get into the "Christmas spirit" the day after Thanksgiving. I'm a gift-giver and I so enjoy to shop and get the deals on Black Friday -- yes, I make it to the early morning door-buster sales, although I don't camp out on sidewalks. Starting that Black Friday weekend, I can usually check off everyone on my Christmas list by December 1st -- which is the day I like to mail off my Christmas cards too. Next I get my tree up and decorated and get rolled gingerbread cookies baked -- usually by the middle of the month.
But this year…Bah! Humbug! No tree. Too much trouble. And the gingerbread? Haven't even started and don't know if I will.
I've been wondering what's wrong with me. I can't seem to get into the whole Christmas thing. I talked with my sister yesterday and she's feeling the same way. We concluded that it's because Mom won't be here with us this year. She died in February, leaving us to make the Norwegian meatballs and deviled eggs (*smile*). Mom always came by and helped my sister clean her house before all of us gathered there on Christmas Day. Mom liked cleaning so my sister and I gave her opportunities to enjoy herself whenever possible. But last year Mom was so ill she could only sit and visit a short while before my nephew needed to drive her home and help her back into bed. I also realized yesterday, after sitting through the Christmas service at church, that I can often lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas due to all the glimmer and the CHA-CHING at the cash registers.
This year my husband and I purchased some toys for the grandkids and I knitted and crocheted scarves for them. With each stitch, I prayed for them. They'll go nicely with hats I purchased for them at a resale shop. What a find! The hats were brand new, still with price tags on them. Each of my sons will get a gift, as I did venture out on Black Friday, and I promised my hubby a shopping trip to a department store where he can select a watch that HE wants instead of one that I find flashy.
I've decided that it's OK to get back to basics and reflect on the things which are most important, like fun memories of Mom. She loved us and proved it by everything she did -- to the point, many times of making us crazy. That was no secret, either.
Mom also enjoyed reading my books. She was my biggest fan! So, on my website, www.andreaboeshaar.com, I'm offering readers the gift of story. It's a downloadable Christmas novella about rediscovering the gift of love.
And that's what Christmas is grounded in -- or should be, anyway. Love! God's love for us and, in turn our love for others. Merry Christmas!