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Twelve days

Christmas is a promise. It brings hope. It encourages generosity and inspires peace. It fills the heart with joy and ushers in the New Year. Yesterday, on the first day of Christmas, we exchanged gifts, savored a lovely breakfast, lounged around, watched a few movies and some basketball, made a casual Christmas dinner and essentially lingered in the company of those we love. It was a smaller Christmas than in years past, appropriate given the economy and the new alignment of priorities. Being smaller it was far less stressful. Despite anxiety at (possibly) not getting the one big present from my younger son to my older son completed, the promise of Christmas made for a tiny miracle and all was good.

E was pleased his gift to C came through!  He thrills in being creative. I made just the right amount of cookies, as they are all gone. I managed to get orange marmalade made from the orange gifted to me by Miss Sue, a thoughtful patient who brings me heirloom citrus from her property every winter. While the natural pectin failed to set the marmalade, it still tastes intensely orange and tangy.

I found some retro gifts we all enjoyed: Bubs Daddy gum, Fizzies and Ring Dings. Nostalgia at Christmas IS a big part of Christmas. And the boys, especially E, are excited to be getting a second Christmas tomorrow with their Dad.

Between now and Epiphany, I will take stock. I return to work tomorrow and close the year out with a strong finish. The office will be a bit crazed, having been both a long weekend and because I have been off the clock for the last week. The treat is that this is AGAIN a short week, as we are closed on Friday for New Years Eve. With each day of Christmas, I will give thanks for a new thing. I will also define my twelve precepts for the coming year. Starting January 1st I will begin participating in the River of Stones writing project, so my blog posts in January will be brief and succinct.

I will hope and pray that all those I know and love will have the peace and joy of Christmas this season. I also hope that those struggling and suffering will feel the compassion of others and their burdens will be eased. While intending to be more frugal in tangible ways, I hope to be more generous and extravagant with my spirit. I want to give to myself and others extravagantly and without reticence…but to give in a soulful way…not a material way. To give my time, my creativity and my energy is an investment in a future surrounded by people who also love and give freely. It will teach me (and them) that the gift of money is an empty and shallow offering, while a gift of energy and heart is an inheritance beyond measure.

To love and love without fear is a lofty goal, but the honest and true gift bestowed upon me this Christmas. Merry Christmas to all, blessings upon your families, peace for your fears and anxiety and assurance that the future is glorious.

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