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September 2013

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"May you give more than you get..." the best of the Season to you!

This morning, I received Christmas wishes from an email friend that really made me stop and think..."may you give more than you get." 

When I considered that wish, I realized that's the best possible one, for me.  As kateslover said on his LJ this morning, there is really nothing we lack for.  We are home and together, for the first time as man and wife, this year, and thanks be to God for that.  We have family, music, laughter and work.  We have a home, as many do not, and we are warm enough and fed enough, as many are not.  We have enough to share..."may you give more than you get."

For me, the best part of this season is truly thinking of what I can give--be it time, thought, or something more tangible--to someone I care about. 

It's not always easy to do, in practical terms...in our family, we draw names for giving, since we've grown so large, with children and spouses and THEIR children...and sometimes the name we draw offers a challenge all in itself! 

It offers the chance to get to know one another better, to try to think about what that person would TRULY like and enjoy, what they need, and what they don't but would love anyway!  And being together, as we will be this evening, and seeing the delight on beloved faces...who could ask for more, whether they are opening a gift from me, or from one another.  The gift is love.

We are all formed by our environment as well as our genes.  "May you give more than you get" may trigger feelings of want, of lack.  What we grew up with, the Ghost of Christmas Past, still impacts our feelings at this time of year--it does mine. 

In our culture, we tend to think more is better.  "He who dies with the most toys, wins" was heard all too often in recent memory...but the toys do you no good, once you've passed beyond using them, do they?  The love lasts.  The love we give as well as the love we receive.

Thinking down the years, what I remember most is that.  Not what I got, this year or that--though the memory of the electric typewriter my late husband bought me when I was first starting out as a writer does still have the power to make me glow, and the huge box of unexpected goodies I got from Joseph that first  Christmas still stuns me...it was their THOUGHTFULNESS, their caring, their knowing me, that was the true gift.

What I remember about giving is the pleasure it gave me.  My dad always said he was supremely selfish--he gave because it made him feel good.  I begin to understand what he meant, as I think of him at this time of year--and still miss him, after 31 years.  I learned a lot from my dad.  I'm still learning his lessons...

It's very hard for me to read James Russell Lowell's "The Vision of Sir Launfal" without tears. 

No, not "hard."  Impossible.  My dad read it aloud, every Christmas Day.  But what has stayed with me, all my long life, what has woven itself into my soul, is this line: "Not what we give, but what we share-- For the gift without the giver is bare."

There is no lack, not truly, in my life.  Each day is pure gift. Even the bumps, even the losses, the frustrations, the sadnesses, offer the gift of growth, knowledge, change.  Whether I recognize it as such says far more about my state of mind than it does of the reality.

.May you receive the gift that fills your soul, as well. 






Comments

i'm reminded, again, of the wonderful blessing i read about--someone questioned the offering of "may you have 'enough'..." but when one thinks about it, it is the best of blessings. it means that one is satisfied, and "enough" implies that there is some leftover to share. "enough" is not negative--it is whole, filling, and completing.

may you both have "enough"!

merry christmas, my long distance friends! much love to you both!!
Hi sweet thing...we do indeed have "enough" and to share. We've been thinking lately how blessed we are to have friends like you. I am so touched by your kindness and generosity...I have been wearing the ammonite a lot, and smile at you each time!
such good words...
Merry Christmas to you both, and much love to all around you, Kate!
Thank you, Solga...and the same to you! It's a beautiful, cold, sunny morning, lightly frosted with snow--all gold and pale blue this morning. Lovely to see...
We have snow here in Moscow, too:)
it stays for two days already - hope it won't melt till New Year!
I rather imagined you did! We've only gotten three rather modest little snows this winter, but it's been pretty cold.

OK, maybe not for Moscow! ;-)

We were supposed to get an ice storm again last night, but hooray, mostly just snow!
well, actually it snowed for the first time this week, while usually snow comes in mid-November. Global warming :)
And how cold it is in your place?
We had -10 on Sunday and the rest of the time it was around zero...
I don't know exactly, this morning...it's been hovering just above zero off and on this week. Obviously warmed up enough yesterday that they thought we might have an ice storm, though...
Thank you, my gift...
My own...life is GOOD. And thank you for a large part of making it so...
Thank you for such a lovely post!
It's easy to get caught up in getting; this outlook works a lot better for me!

Merry Christmas

I love that sentiment and it truly does express the meaning of Christmas, and of life---may you give more than you get. Thank you for sharing that!--Carol C.

Re: Merry Christmas

You're welcome, Carol, I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas!

(Anonymous)

This is the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. I've followed your blog and your beautiful watercolors for months now and this has compelled me to speak up. You are an inspiration to me as I'm sure you are to countless others. Merry Xmas and warm wishes to you and your family. :) Gabrielle
Thank you, Gabrielle, how kind of you to say! I hope you and yours had a most peaceful and satisfying day...

Thanks!

Merry Christmas, Kate - to you an whole family - wonderful, very warm words ;)

Re: Thanks!

Thank you, Nina! It's been a good year...

(Anonymous)

That is such a lovely post and right on target.
And the thing that seems to happen is that every time we give, more comes back, so then we want to give some more, and THAT comes back.
No one ever catches up so it just keeps going round so beautifully, doesn't it?
annie
You're right, Annie, I really believe it works that way...