The Spirit of Christmas?

01 Dec
Today’s post is a guest post from my mother, Pat Bowling. Thought my mom will not claim to be a writer or articulate in any way, this was too beautiful for me to pass up and I was blessed when she said I could put it on my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Once again, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  The table’s been cleared, the dishes washed and put away and, while the smell of turkey lingers and leftovers remain in the ice box, Christmas insists on moving in.

I love, love, love fall.  I love the colors.  I love the smells.  And how awesome is it that Thanksgiving would come during my favorite season!  Thanksgiving – a time that is set aside for us to focus on all those things we are most thankful for.  Sad, isn’t it, we had to create a holiday to get people to slow down long enough to think about what they have to be grateful for.  Anyway, it’s during this time of year that people’s hearts tend to soften; they seem friendlier, kinder to one another, more patient.  Because I love this time of year so much, I really want to make the most of it, I want it to stay around a while.  We live in southeast Texas so the weather certainly cooperates, no snow clouds moving in. While Christmas trees are going up all over the country, I refuse to put my tree up until our family has celebrated Thanksgiving with the traditional turkey and dressing meal.   I have always wanted my children to appreciate this beautiful time of year and the spirit that is Thanksgiving.  This is also why I only make dressing on Thanksgiving.

Ok, so, we have celebrated Thanksgiving and now my tree is up; up AND decorated.  I am so not ready for Christmas!  I have very few presents and the truth is, I don’t even have a list!  I’m not going to panic; I’m NOT.  I’m going to get in some kind of “zone” and I’m going to wade through the traffic, fight my way through the thousands of shoppers, purchase my gifts from the little that is left on the store shelves, and enjoy the Christmas season.

You might think it strange that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday instead of Christmas; most people do.  I stopped liking Christmas when it started becoming more of a business than a celebration of the birth of the King of Kings.  I used to love buying presents for my family and friends.  It used to be a joy to shop at my leisure for the people I love the most.  I found myself choosing gifts that had meaning, reminded them of their childhood, or finding out what their secret wishes were and making them come true.  The “spirit” of Christmas was always about the spirit of giving out of a heart of love for me.

Over the years, the spirit of Christmas has gotten crowded out by the demand for specific “things” – or everything.  Everyone has a list.  Children not only expect to get something from their list, they expect to get everything on their list; that’s really hard for me.  There is a sense of entitlement in our culture today; children and adults alike think they are entitled to get everything they want when they want it.  Truth is, that makes me not want to get anything for them at all.  (I can be ugly like that.)  So, when I shop for Christmas now, I go with this list and with the fear that if I don’t get everything on their list, I’m going to disappoint them.  Or, how about the aunt, uncle, sister, brother that measures the worth of everything he/she’s given by the number of dollars it costs – no pressure there.  It’s not FUN anymore!  It doesn’t bring me JOY anymore.  It’s work; I dread it.  So, am I in the Christmas spirit?  Not yet, but I’ll get there.  Maybe I’ll start tomorrow.


Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “The Spirit of Christmas?

  1. floyd

    December 1, 2010 at 7:55 am

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree indeed! Thank you for your honest passion. I see where your daughter gets it. I find my life expanded by knowing a little more about yours, not just through this post, but the stories shared by your daughter. God has blessed you and your’s and Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Merry Christmas… (that’s the first time I’ve offered that this year, I too must be beginning to get into the spirit!)

    • apesydaisy

      December 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

      Floyd, my mom is very talented, whether she will admit it or not, and we do think alot along the same lines. Thank you for reading her post and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too!! 🙂 Jingle bells, jingle bells…Ok, just trying to help you both with the spirit of Christmas thing.

  2. Jason

    December 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    “There is a sense of entitlement in our culture today; children and adults alike think they are entitled to get everything they want when they want it.”

    Yeah…I agree with that. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been turned off to a lot of the Christmas season as well. My mom loves me because I’ve always been thankful just to get anything for Christmas. I can count on one hand with fingers left over the times I asked for something really specific for Christmas.

    Of course, I’ve been on the other side where I’ve gotten gifts from someone where you know they put no thought into the gift. That also turned me off a bit to the Christmas season. When I was a teenager, a relative who had picked my name for the gift exchange gave me sweatpants. I never wore sweatpants…EVER. Not once. They also had left the tag that said they bought them for $2 on sale at a bargain store. These are the same people who spent hundreds on a stereo for their kids that same Christmas. Each. I didn’t do the family gift exchange again.

    This is wonderfully written and I’m so glad you shared it with us. I hope your mom’s Christmas surprises her this year in a good way.

    • apesydaisy

      December 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

      I am the same way Jason…I am just glad to get something. Very rarely will I ask for something specific; I’m usually the one to say…I don’t know. I am working hard to teach my son the same values as well. Thanks for reading my mom’s post! 🙂


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