No Time Like the Present

No matter what your political persuasion, I hope everyone took time to vote today.  I got in my ballot last week, sans children, though it’s a great idea to get your kids involved, too.  It might also be worthwhile to document your feelings on this “landmark election” for its “historical” value (as all the talk keeps saying).  Truly, your grandchildren might ask you about it 50 years from now.

Not as pressing as voting, but perhaps of great importance to those little ones expecting surprises in upcoming months are those holiday gifts.  Ah, yes.  I said I wouldn’t put it off this year, and I did it anyway.  My husband said we are not glazing on Christmas Eve this year, and I do not intend to be working those last stitches Christmas day on whatever knitting project I end with!  So, now’s the time to finalize our list.

You better believe the only items we’ll be buying are basic supplies.  No pre-packaged retail gifts, except maybe books.  If you need some ideas, here are a sampling of ours.

  • Scarves — sewn or knit
  • Slippers — felted (if I can learn in time!)
  • Pottery — various hopefully practical items
  • Hats — knit
  • Gift boxes — paper/cardboard; sometimes the packaging is part of the gift, too

If you don’t have time to make your own goods, remember the importance of buying local, supporting work-at-home moms, buying handmade and being as eco-friendly as possible.  “Google” any of those topics if you want a slew of information.  If you choose the “recycling” route, make sure it’s not tacky and will be okay in the situation.  A good friend of mine does not appreciate that her children’s gifts are garage sale finds when everyone else gets a packaged new item.

Enjoy being thoughtfully creative.  The love and care you put into a
gift is as much a blessing to the receiver as the gift itself, if not
more so.

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As mothers we receive lots of things.  The bills, the colds, the art projects, our friends’ recipes, hugs and kisses and each other’s support, if we’re fortunate enough to have a network.  There are all kinds of material and immaterial “things” we take in all day long.  I wonder if that might be one reason moms are usually so generous, volunteering in multiple and diverse ways.

But think of a time when you were really looking forward to something.  A care package from a distant friend?  A tax refund?  Your kids from camp?  How about waiting for a baby’s conception?  News that the tumor was benign?

There’s a tremendous relief, joy and lightheartedness at the arrival, isn’t there?  I want to find a way to incorporate every part of my day as something to be received graciously.  I want to be joyful when I pick up my kids from school rather than seeing it as another errand.  Perhaps all I need to do is be mindfully present, and the joy will lie therein.  Easily said, right?

But what about receiving the overdrafts, the malignant tumor, the death we hadn’t prepared for?  Will receiving those mindfully make them less worse?  As humans, I suppose it’s our lot in life to “take the good, . . . take the bad.”  (My 80s-t.v.- influenced mind plays “The Facts of Life” theme song in my head.)  As mothers it seems we have a significant influence on how our family faces each moment.  How many of us have weathered the storm with an assuring hug and comforting words even as our own stomachs turned and hearts raced?  Of course, I don’t just mean thunderstorms.

Mother, father, man or woman, we don’t always have a choice about what we are receiving, but we can choose how we receive it.  We are, after all, setting an example for our children and all those in our presence.  I can’t help but think that we need to be humble and gracious when receiving life’s blessings, and when faced with tribulations, we can all hope to be honest and strong.  A network of support never hurts, either.

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