Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Reflection...

There is no ideal Christmas;
only the one Christmas you decide
to make as a reflection
of your values, desires, affections, traditions.

Bill McKibben*


Mrs. Nesbitt's thought for the day really touched something deep in me. I hate to admit it, but I have been feeling really down, disconnected, and not my joyful self this year because I will be spending the holiday alone...all my children will be at their father's house...I do not like to whine too much, because I have a beautiful and full life...so when I contemplated the above quote, I realized that it is exactly what I believe and bring that makes a holiday joyful...not feeling sorry for myself...

St. Francis Preaching to the Birds - Giotto


So what am I going to do about my feelings of sadness...what I always do when I am too focused on self...I have decided to create a new tradition a la St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis loved animals because they, too, were God's creatures. He extended special kindness to animals at Christmas. He urged farmers to provide their oxen and donkeys with extra rations of corn and hay "for the reverence of the Son of God, whom on such a night the Blessed Virgin did lay down in the stall between the ox and the donkey." At Christmastide, St. Francis scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so the tiny creatures could feast and be happy. I am going to scatter bird seed around my tiny island on Christmas eve so that the birds, too, can celebrate...

Read about other Christmas traditions
here...

*
Bill McKibben, author, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas says, "The Christmas we now celebrate grew up at a time when Americans were mostly poor ... mostly working with their hands and backs. If we now feel burdened and unsatisfied by the piles of gifts and over consuming, it is not because Christmas has changed all that much. It's because we have." ...read article here...

27 comments:

NEEREANDEAR said...

I wish you lived close... I would have you come to my house!.. well you can come anyway if you want...

Hey sweetie check out my blog... I am having a fabulous giveaway... maybe it will lift your spirits some ...

And dont feel bad... I havent exactly been my wonderul Christmas self either... I think its going around this year

HUGS BLESSINGS AND LOVE TO YOU

JO

see you there! said...

Holidays are difficult when our family members can't be with us for whatever reason. I know the birds will appreciate your attention and meanwhile I'll be with you in thought.

Darla

Journey Through Life said...

I admire your ability to turn around those difficult feelings into positive ones. It is something that I can do well sometimes and not so well other times. Thanks for the reminder of always looking for the positive.
Joy and peace to you,
Annie
xxx

Tinker said...

I love your idea of celebrating the holiday as St. Francis might - and I'm sure the birds will be glad of it too. We used to string popcorn and cranberries, and hang it on the trees for the birds, as well as cutting out Christmas shapes (candy cane, tree, etc) from cardboard, spreading it with peanut butter, and sprinkling birdseed on it (though someone told me not too long ago, that peanut butter is a no-no now for birds - I haven't researched that out yet though).
Anyway, I enjoyed reading the article you linked to - and I so much admire your spirit in finding a new way to celebrate Christmas. Many blessings and ((hugs))

paris parfait said...

Thanks for the links to the Bill McKibben article. Fascinating stuff and I agree we've let the true spirit of Christmas be overshadowed by commercialism and obligations. I received your beautiful angel today! Thank you so much; I shall treasure it. xoxox

NEEREANDEAR said...

I am so glad you came by and entered the giveaway... it is open to anyone who wishes to join in ... and serious... come on over .. .would love to have you'

HUGS

JO

Rosehaven Cottage said...

That is a wonderful idea! I just love it! I'm going to do it too now, thanks to you. :) Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kate I said...

I've been "there" too, where my family were spending Christmas with their father and you're doing exactly the right thing in making it your own holiday with traditions that are perfect for you. The first holiday that I had alone I used it as an opportunity to go on an adventure by myself...stayed at a B&B in Hawaii for a week. I wasn't really alone because there were other's staying there, yet I got to do something out of the box that had no preconceived idea of what Christmas should be like. It was a liberating experience.

Pam Aries said...

Aniamal lover that I am...I think this is a great idea! I am going to be alone this Christmas, but I am loving it! It will be all about me..Spot and Trip! (Dog and Cat! ) The three of us are going to have all kinds of treats and watch great movies all Christmas Day! ....I know it is hard for you to be away from your kids..I just want you to know that it will all work out !You will have a very interesting holiday to tell us about. I feel it!

marita said...

true words!
no great xmas or new year celebration for me as well, rebecca!
it has been that way for many years now and i love it!!
the holidays have become a quiet and reflecting period ever since.
i'll be thinking of you from afar!

Sherry said...

Rebecca, turning the negative to the positive is a gift. You will miss being with your children at this special time of year but they are with you in spirit. Finding another way to feel connected is such a loving, spirit filled way to live life.

By the way, my beautiful angel arrived in today's mail and I love it so much...photographs on blogs never do justice to the "real thing" and I am so touched and honoured to have won this from you.

Many many blessings to you at the holiday season. May you have a spirit filled and magical Christmas and all the very best of everything to you for the coming year.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

It is only natural to have feelings like that...but you are right to reach out to others at this time...even little creatures! It can only make you happy :) Hey you have us crazy people to celebrate with!
Love,

Peter Pan :)

Mary Timme said...

It is seldom the holiday that disappoints us and almost always our expectations of what the holiday 'should be' that disappoints us. I've long been a believer of that. And it applies to all holidays. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I love the quotes and thoughtfulness of this post.

rochambeau said...

Dear Rebecca,
It's great that you are taking action to start a new tradition. My Mom and I will have all the others who don't have family over for Christmas. The orphans. Maybe you can cook something up. IT'S SO MUCH FUN!! and NO WEIRD FAMILY DYNAMICS!!! Just that I'd throw it in the suggestion box!!

xox
thinking of you,
Constance

Carolyn said...

Hi Rebecca ,
I do so hope you have a Happy Christmas , even with family members missing .
Bless you , and if you need a little more of a lift , please visit me for my message for all my readers if you have time

xx

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Wishing you a happy Christmas, different, but special in its own way.

Love and Christmas blessings headed your way,
Melissa

Barbara said...

Merry christmas and a happy new year! My thoughts are with you!
HUGS Barbara

Kari & Kijsa said...

love the idea of starting a new tradition with feeding the animals-scattering the birdseed is lovely! Hope your day is still joyous, as we know you will make it.

Have a very Merry Christmas!
blessings,
kari & kijsa

Naturegirl said...

Rebecca I am sadded to hear that you are not feeling JOy right about now. Glenn and I both think of St. Francis as our favorite saint and have his image in stone in the garden and I feel commforted by having him with us. He is my constant reminder to care for the birds squirrels ..all animals that visit my garden. When I met my husband years ago he wore a metal of St. Francis around his neck..I had a metal of St. Francis in my purse.....we both felt it was a sign so many years ago when we relized that we had fallen in love and today 43 yrs. later after reding your post we looked at one anther remebering our St. Francis.
Rebecca YOU always have a way of posting images words that are so close to my heart. I thank God for putting YOU in my life.
Your immediate family may NOT be there with you but know this that you have touched many of us and we(loving spirits within this blog community)
are there with you in spirit..Light your candles feed your birds..hold St. Francis near and all will be peaceful for you. Allow the birds to give you the energy of Joy that you so deserve.
Love you.. will email you soon.
huggig you and sending an angel of comfort..flutter flutter.aNNa xoxo

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

You're not alone! A LOT of people I know say that they're not feeling their same joyous selves this season!

I wonder if it's planetary alignment or something.

Gemma said...

May your time in nature, feeding the birds bring you a real sense of peace and joy. Light a pink candle and treat yourself royally!
My best to you!
xx

tlc illustration said...

What a perfect new approach to tradition setting. I know for myself when I can focus on anyone else's needs, and actually *help* rather than my own 'stuff', my stuff diminishes far far into the background. There seem to be so many heavenly 'brownie points' for helping out - you feel good almost immediately. Hugs to you and the birds.

Britt-Arnhild said...

That's a perfect tradition Rebecca. I feed the birds all year long, but they always get a little extra for Christmas.

Have a blessed season. Enjoy the peace.

zUzU said...

::Rebecca::

How wonderful of you to wish to share with the little ones ... One of my favorite things is to go out and watch & listen to the birds sing at the feeders ... It seems to be in appreciation each shares back with me after they are fed.

Have you read the childrens book, Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson? If you can get a copy now is the time! Once you begin the story you will understand why I say this. It is about "enough for all" and has a beuatiful message (& of st. francis) ... I highly recommend it!

hugs =^..^= love, zU

qualcosa di bello said...

i came to visit you at just the right moment. we have had a heavy bout of sadness here over the last few weeks & your inspiring, uplifting words are a balm to my weary soul! i love st. francis & how you have been inspired...this really speaks to my heart today. i believe i will harness the energy of boyworld to create something from my childhood...pine cones slathered in peanut butter & rolled in bird seed to hang in our trees today!!! wishing you heaps of Christmas blessings...wishing i could visit your island this week!

Jo Anne Owens said...

While you may be physically alone on Christmas, know that your blogging friends are with you in spirit. May you have a lovely, quiet, reflective day filled with "good to me" thoughts...take a languid bubble bath, eat chocolate until you are stuffed and curl up with a good book knowing that you are loved during this lovely, blessed Season!

Linda said...

Thank you for your lovely comments at Internet Cafe about my post on depression. I feel for the position you find yourself in this Christmas, but I'm filled with joy to know that the Holy Spirit is leading you to be "pro-active" in not giving into despair. You are strong in Him. Be Blessed as you have blessed me, Rebecca!

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