Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Reflections and Traditions...

i have joined The Inspired Room's annual Friday Holiday Linkyyou can see other limky by clicking the link...

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

Bill McKibben*

This quote really touched something deep in me. I hate to admit it, but 2009 has been a very tough year and I have been feeling really down, disconnected, and not my joyful self...I do not like to whine too much, because I have a beautiful and full 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...turn outward and think of others:

Your Local Food Bank Needs You

This holiday season, consider the possibility of making your dinner a food drive; you can ask your guests to bring canned goods, in lieu of house gifts...Have a neighborhood food drive with your children - make a flyer and pass around this weekend and pick up Monday and deliver to the food bank...

Food banks are really suffering this year...because of the economy, many more people have had to call on thier local food bank for help...if you have any extra money or canned goods...stories like this abound this year...please help if you can...
Hoffman, 55, is one of the growing number of "nontraditional" food pantry clients across the country. They include more formerly independent senior citizens, more people who own houses and more people who used to call themselves "middle-class" — those who are not used to fretting over the price of milk.

"We're getting calls all the time from people who want to know how to get here," said Kristine Gibson, community outreach manager at the Stockton food pantry. "And when I ask where they live, they give an address of a nice neighborhood, one where you or I would want to live."
No matter what city you live in, and no matter what newspaper you read, you have probably seen a headline that says something like “Local Food Bank Donations Down,” or “Shelves Empty at the Food Bank.”

According to a recent thread on Chowhound, certain items are almost always a good bet:

Canned Chicken
Powdered Milk
Canned Tuna
Saltine Crackers
White Rice
Jarred or Canned Spaghetti Sauce
Grape Jelly
Canned Vegetables
Breakfast Cereals
Pork & Beans
Peanut Butter
Macaroni & Cheese
Baby food & formula
Pet food, for companion animals

And, of course, money donations are always welcome as well. To find the nearest food bank to you, check out Second Harvest’s Food Bank locator.

What they’ve got too much of? Kidney beans.

I will repeat my 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...

Saint Francis' birds are fed on Christmas Eve 2007 - a new tradition launched

Read about other Christmas traditions

See my Hundred Dollar Holiday ideas and Hundred Dollar Holiday learn more...

* Bill McKibben, author, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmassays, "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." article here...


Annie Jeffries said...

Beautiful and very human post, Rebecca. I'm grateful for the food list and I'm wishing you and easier 2010.

Anonymous said...

It is extremely interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

qualcosa di bello said...

yes, the perfect response to wallowing in any form of self pity! it always, always, always works. you have had a rough ride & it has been a joy to keep you in prayer every single day. lots of love, QdiB

rochambeau said...

Yes to giving especially when ones heart is heavy, YES there is NO perfect!! Dear Rebecca, hope 2010 finds you filled with joy and supplies many wonderful surprises.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you for helping those in need.

Janine Claire Robinson said...

Thanks for the honest post. I love your tradition of leaving something special for the birds too. It's those random small acts of kindness that mean so much! What a lovely bog you have going on. I'll definitely be checking in soon. Janine