…Is the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate. I happen to celebrate Christmas in all it’s glory. We enjoy time worshiping and fellowshipping with family, friends, eating delicious meals together, and of course the giving and receiving of gifts. My children are old enough to know exactly what they want and usually pick it out. We have always had a very limited budget on their gifts and have made that clear to them. We started this when we couldn’t afford much but continued the tradition because we didn’t want Christmas to become a “want” fest or a “pout because I didn’t get it ALL” fest.
This limit means that they sometimes can choose to have grandma and mom collaborate on a gift that may be more expensive than my budget allows. It also means that they can connect money from birthday past or future to get a larger gift. The limit also makes them very aware of the cost of their toys and the power of thinking about how you spend your money.
Our family has always been a giving family. We have family in El Salvador that we help on a regular basis. It is nice to know that they benefit from what we are able to give. Recently we have also been helping out a family from our community with some basic needs and building relationships. I believe that our frugality in giving to our children (during holidays) has allowed us to save and be able to give to others more generously.
The hardest part of the holiday’s is BUSY-ness. I hate that we are so busy during this season of the year. So busy that we wake up tired, go to bed tired, don’t get done what we want to (see boxes of Christmas ornaments STILL in boxes in my living room), and then end up feeling incredibly stressed out and cranky.
I want that to stop. I want to have an afternoon like I did today. I went to visit a friend because our boys had a sleep over. I kept looking at the clock thinking that I had to rush but time nearly stood still for 2 hours. We chatted and laughed. We listened to each other and chatted with our children. It was a wonderful rest in an otherwise incredibly busy time of year.
Tomorrow I go back to the grind. We have 5 more class days left until “winter break” AKA Christmas break for 2 weeks. That will be filled with busy too. (I know I will eventually write about that so you’ll have to wait and see what that busyness looks like.)
The best part of all this busyness is that I can control my busy. My friend at work had nothing planned for the weekend, on purpose. She decided that she needed to control the busy in her holiday season. I admire that ability to control the busy.
What if you couldn’t control the busy? What if there were someone telling you when to wake up, when and what to eat, if you could sit or stand to work, and you had no choice but to listen? That sort of busy you couldn’t control. I know I have said this statistic before but the number kept rolling around in my head, according to IJM there are 29.8 billion people in slavery. They are kept busy without controlling why or how they are busy. It isn’t because they are taking children places or making fun gifts for family and friends. It isn’t because they are working at a job they love. It is because they are in bondage. I am trying to help make a difference for people in bondage. I am asking that people who read my blog this month learn more about modern human slavery, say a prayer for those who are fighting slavery and those who are in bondage, or donate to my giving campaign. I am wearing dresses all month. This is way out of my character but it is my choice. I am able to choose to wear a dress.
Please consider stepping out of your comfort zone this month and learning about this human tragedy that is a very real and pressing issue.