At one lunch break this week, I shared with a fellow Filipino colleague of mine that I was finding the mornings a little nippy lately. (Well, as nippy as you can get in Singapore yeah.) And that it added to my excitement that Christmas is fast approaching.
She looked at me forlornly and said she wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit. This woman, who would shop as early as June for Christmas gifts for her family, wasn't feeling it. She's one of those people who has a lot of lists during the Yuletide. And I mean, a lot! There's your usual list of gifts for your godchildren (clearly a Filipino thing), then her list of parties and gatherings in December and her gift list for her family. But she also has a list - nay, she has an excel sheet - of the clothes she plans to wear for each day of her Christmas break. I wish I were kidding you.
I was thinking about this and I realized that our concept of Christmas are so vastly different. Excluding the slightly psycho list of what outfit to wear every day - which I would never do because (1) Matthew 6:28 advises me not to even worry about clothing and (2) I'm not good with excel - I used to be this kind of lister too. The only list we have in common now is the godchildren list, and I don't necessarily buy gifts for all my godchildren. I list them so I can pray for them too, which I guess may not cut it for some parents who decided I would be their offspring's godmother.
For my family, I just give money for them to spend as they wish.
But believe you me, Christmas has never been so meaningful and special to me. Sometimes I think it would be good to send a note to family and friends before meet-ups to set the tone: "Strictly no presents. Your presence is gift enough and your friendship is blessing enough. In fact, more than enough."
I'm so glad to realize that Christmas for me continues to move away from the seemingly obligatory trimmings of it, of how we feel Christmas should look. More and more, Christmas is an internal affair. Between me and Aslan. Between you and Aslan. And everyone He's blessed us with.
And that is why I'm excited. That is why I look forward to Christmas. And know now, that you - yes, you - will be thought of, prayed for and above all thanked for. Because you are God's gift to me. And your friendship is blessing enough. More than enough.
(Photo credit: don2g)
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