Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Fictions (con't)

More Christmas fictions for you to consider:

Fiction 5: Rebellious children always come back to the fold on Christmas. Maybe in novels and Hallmark movies, but this doesn't always happen in real life. I don't know if I'll have one, both, or neither of my children home this Christmas. And while I pray for them, I’ve had to accept that as adults, they are responsible for their own decisions. I’m the parent, which means I can’t react in anger (or I’ll hurt them), and I can’t mope (which will only hurt my husband and myself). So if they do come home, I’ll rejoice, but if not . . . it’s their choice. We're having Christmas no matter what. :-)

Fiction 6: Children care more about giving than receiving. LOL! Recently I was with a group of college students, and one of them suggested we go around the circle and say what we would want for Christmas “if price were no object.” They mentioned cars, toys, gadgets . . . and when it came to me, I said I’d be happy with a good idea for my next book. When we live in a materialistic society, how do we prevent children from wanting everything they see? We may not be able to stop the wanting, but we can stop the expecting. I’ve sat through Christmases where my children opened their carefully-chosen presents, sniffed at them, and asked if there was anything else. So—I suggest that you limit the presents under the tree. Consider buying gifts in categories: for each child, one toy to play with, one outfit to wear, one animal to sleep with, one book to read, one CD to listen to . . . etc. If you never establish the custom of having a toy store under the tree, the switch won’t be hard to make. For adults, why do we give anything? One year I bought a farm animal through and told our usual gift recipients that we were giving a farm animal in their name. Instead of giving to us, I’d encourage them to do the same. I loved the practice and may do it again next year. Why do we give each other things we don’t need? (I know, we give to show our love, but we could show the same love by giving to someone who really needs something.)

Fiction 7: At Christmastime, the entire world falls under the spell of “peace on earth.” Neighbors who never speak to you will be kinder and more gentle, because everyone understands Christmas.

Tee hee. Fought over a parking space lately?

A few years ago I wrote a novel called THE DEBT, and the writing changed my life. I stopped being a cloistered Christian and began to be a Neighbor. I stopped working to listen to a neighbor in trouble. When I heard about rumblings in the neighborhood (gossip stirring up trouble), I baked cookies and took them to neighbors’ homes, explaining that as a Christian, I would never want anyone to be upset, so let’s talk.

Last week at church staff meeting, my hubby was told that all pastors were required to be at the church musical. But we had committed to participate in our neighborhood’s progressive dinner—we’re the soup house. So hubby went to the pastor, who understood and gave his blessing for my husband to join the dinner instead. And before those neighbors left my house, I offered them a copy of THE NATIVITY STORY, so they’ll know what Christmas is really all about. Your neighbors—do you even know them? Yet they are your “Jerusalem,” the people you’re to minister to FIRST.



Belinda Brown said...

loved this post, Angie

Anonymous said...

This is full of so many truths, Angie. Love it. The best gift you can give is yourself. Like others we are paring down this year. It's not easy when you want to give your loved ones "the world". My granddaughter is transitioning from a believer in Santa and we've been pointing out stories all around us of "Santa" actions that show the true meaning of giving. She's catching on. My prayers are with you and Gary. Clyde

Anonymous said...

I'll never, ever forget when I read "The Debt". It was years and years ago. We lived in a nice neighborhood but one night our next door neighbor stabbed someone! When the police cars arrived and the neighbor with a police scanner :) called to tell me what was happening, I fell on my knees with love for Mike...prayer for Mike. "Why would I be surprised when sinners sin?" rang in my ears. The next few months were full of neighbors' gossip. That older couple who always invited us to their church? Oh, the things they said about Mike! The rocks they threw. When Mike came home from jail...awaiting his trial...I was there with cookies. I said, "No judgment, friend. There's been many times if there had been a knife available..." :)

Holly W said...

Thanks Angie! I'll be praying for your children, and I'm sure you'll come up with a great book idea!

Angela said...

Ah, Holly . . . . lately all my books have been about . . . well, this is a public forum, so I will say no more. Let's just say that I always write from my life, and lately I've been doing that so much I feel a bit . . . exposed. :-/

And Anonymous, praise God for your willingness to bake those cookies. :-) I could write more on this topic, too, but public forum and all . . .

Love you, Clyde. You're doing the right things. Last night I read some advice from Dave Ramsey that illuminates a big mistake we made . . . wish I'd read him sooner.


Anonymous said...

Brave post.

Leslie said...

On an email list I am a part of someone just forwarded this to me - and for some strange reason (you'll see why) this totally seemed apropos.

Author Unknown

'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the kitchen,
I was cooking and baking,
and moaning and (expletive bleeped out)'.

I've been here for hours,
I can't stop to rest.
This room's a disaster,
just look at this mess!

Tomorrow I've got
Thirty people to feed.
They expect all the trimmings.
Who cares what I need!

My feet are both blistered,
I've got cramps in my legs.
The cat just knocked over
a bowl full of eggs.

There's a knock at the door
and the telephone's ringing;
Frosting drips on the counter
as the microwave's dinging.

Two pies in the oven,
dessert's almost done;
My cookbook is soiled
with butter and crumbs.

I've had all I I can stand,
I can't take anymore;
Then in walks my husband,
spilling rum on the floor.

He weaves and he wobbles,
his balance unsteady;
Then grins as he chuckles
"The eggnog is ready!"

He looks all around
and with total regret,
Says, "What's taking so long.
Aren't you through in here yet?"

As quick as a flash
I reach for a knife;
He loses an earlobe;
I wanted his life!

He flees from the room
in terror and pain
And screams, "MY GOD WOMAN,

Now what was I doing,
and what is that smell
Oh darn it's the pies!
They're burned all to hell!

I hate to admit
when I make a mistake,
But I put them on BROIL
instead of on BAKE.

What else can go wrong?
Is there still more ahead?
If this is good living,
I'd rather be dead.

Lord, don't get me wrong,
I love holidays;
It just leaves me exhausted,
all shaky and dazed.

But I promise you one thing,
If I live 'til next year,
You won't find me
pulling my hair out in here.

I'll hire a maid, a cook,
and a waiter;
And if that doesn't work,

Anonymous said...

Angie, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. As you said--public forum so I won't be specific, but I wish I'd had your wise outlook and equanimity on a few Christmases past. Bittersweet season IF I focus on that, but instead I focus on Jesus and others, and the season is a joy. What a gift we've been given in Jesus, Emmanuel.

God bless you and Gary and the kids. Praying for you all. You are a blessing--at Christmas and otherwise.

Mary Kay