Any Mania In Your Monday?

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of advent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I like this quote.  Makes a person think, eh?
How was your weekend?  Did you get most of your "to do" list done?  If you did, good for you.  If you didn’t , so what!  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time, right?  It will get done if it is important enough.
At this time of year, I am considered a bit of a grinch.  From halloween until after the new year I feel like hibernating.  Why?  Look around.  How many happy people do you see?  How many stressed out, unhappy people do you see?  This is supposed to be a joyous time and people push themselves beyond what is healthy and enjoyable.  Greed is embodied by our children.  Competition for affections with a price tag makes fools of some.
I am going to make up my own Manic Monday questions this week.  Let’s see how we really feel about Yuletide:
Describe your perfect Christmas/Hanukkah?
Tough one, g.  Hmmm…Skiing in Aspen?  That would be nice.  Back to reality…thinking back to my happiest Christmases, I would have to say exchanging of well thought out gifts might start it off.  My parents taught me that the cost doesn’t matter.  Thinking about the person you are giving the present to and matching the gift to what they truly like is a gift in and of itself. 
Also, a limit.  My children usually got three presents which we wouldn’t go into debt for.  However, we sing happy birthday to Jesus first and put him in the nativity we set up.  I always give a new movie to the family and we often have breakfast and watch the movie.  That is fun.  After that, we would, ideally, head off to a homeless shelter to help with dinner.
Family?  Any day can be Christmas.  My folks came here last Saturday.  Why be restricted by a single day on the calendar.
What brings you true joy?
That’s easy; Isabella!  After she was born, I realized I hadn’t experienced joy in a long, long time.  Now I can’t get enough! 
You are in the Biblical time just after Jesus was born.  Who would you want to strike up a conversation with?
Another easy one;  Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather.  To me, he is a giant of a man.  His faith and his kindness are beyond comparison.  I just know I would like him.
I will leave you this day with one more quote:
The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ.
The spirit of Christmas is annual;
the Spirit of Christ is eternal.
The spirit of Christmas is sentimental;
the Spirit of Christ is supernatural.
The spirit of Christmas is a human product;
the Spirit of Christmas is a divine person.
That makes all the difference in the world.
Stuart Briscoe
Stay safe, gail

22 responses to “Any Mania In Your Monday?

  1. About three weeks ago, we watched Bonhoeffer: Agent Of Grace and really enjoyed the movie.  The movie was thought provoking. 
    I wonder if the quote is from his Letters From Prison? 

  2. i am thinking about grinching it up too…
    *~* :o) before you put on a frown… :o) make sure there are no smiles available… :o) *~*

  3. Yes I agree with everything you said in your blog Gail. I am a real Grinch at this time of the year. I mean everything is just about money. Parents do not give enough time to their children and then buy expensive gifts…. Well, who can blame the parents for working but giving away priceless present will not cheer a child, maybe be superficially.
    Who is to blame when the kid becomes egoistic and money minded. Can we blame his/her? Nobody told him/her something else.
    I am really tired of Christmas, but for my child I do think it is important for it will the memories he will have when I am gone. I have tried to show him how to make cards and paper roses to decorate the envelop
    He is far too young to do it right but he tries.
    Perfect Christmas would be one that last the year through.

  4. The primary reason I come to your space is because you are grounded in truth and not subject to rumors or personal intrusions with questions that simply should not be asked between male and female married friends.  Also, I nearly always completely agree with your observations of the world today.  The Christmas spirit becoming slowly extinct is a fact that few fully realize.  For the very first time you asked me a question in a comment that referenced my entry about ancient man.  Look for a e-mail or instant message for the answer to that question.  I need for you to know just when I stand regarding our shared faith.
    With utmost respect,

  5. Gail,
      I feel that more and more people are becoming grinches. Is it a sign of the times or that we have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and are not allowing our hearts to be filled with love all year round and trying to save it up for this one day, and by the time it arrives we are just totally exhausted???? I’m not completely sure but I feel that people have focused to much on the materialistic aspects of Christmas and have lost touch with the real importance of this day…. I love the quote by Scott Briscoe, it is the true essence of Christmas and where we need to get back to it..
        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I will be leaving Thursday for the river and will not be back until next month. I will be back to visit when I come back home.
        May God bless you and your precious family with the richness of His blessings.~HUGS~Marilyn~

  6. All I know about my MRI is that is was "within normal limits" which I guess means I have a brain.  I see the doctor on Thursday to discuss why I am having such bad headaches right now. 
    How is the boy doing?

  7. I wouldn’t say that I’m a grinch, but I’m not exactly bursting with holiday spirit either. I am busy and tired and I’ve been fighting some kind of sick bug so I just don’t have the strength to mess with it this year. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without Bill here anyway. I have not decorated AT ALL. I knew I was not going to bother with the tree, but I had planned on digging out a few things to make the house look extra festive. But I have not done it, and I probably won’t at this point. When I have a few extra minutes here and there, I do a few Christmas cards. I bought two boxes and have not even finished one yet. I am running out of time, I’m afraid. I’m not doing presents this year except for the kids because we are broke and I refuse to run up the credit cards anymore. So this should be an interesting Christmas. lol

  8. Hey Gail,
    I love, love, love that quote at the end.  I think I will put it in my next blog.  Ah, you have inspired me!
    Ideally for Christmas I would like snow.  It just says Christmas to me.  Spend some time with my family, eat lots of good stuff, tell the Christmas story and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  We always have a cake!  🙂
    The peanut brings me pure joy, I just love her like nothing else in all the world.  It’s the most amazing thing!
    I’d strike up a conversation with Mary.  I feel a connection to her because I am a mother too.  I love the passages that say Mary just listened to all the things said about Jesus and treasured them in her heart.  So touching!
    Take care,

  9. I agree!  I see more death due to stress related issues during the Holidays (especially Xmas) than any other time of the year.  I see more unhappy people crammed into one month then I do through out the year ~sighs~.
    Kids are spoiled rotten today, literally!
    My favorite Christmas would be the Solstice.  Thanking God for the fact that the warmth of Spring is well on its way as the days get later.  I would just like to sit around with family and friends, get plowed (or not) and laugh about our rediculous pasts, and our possible futures ~smiles~.  Food and bibes are a must!
    Perhaps some kind of ritual depicting such events.
    True joy comes from within myself and though the enviornment around me can be quite daunting at times, I know that I am the decider of my happiness.  When I get selfish, greedy, mean, etc.  It takes me away from God, and the further I get away from God the more my life sucks and the worse I become until something jolts me back into spiritual serenity.  I guess it is the flaw of the human mind, but what can you expect when Satan and God both played major parts in our creationism even if you won’t find that in Genisis ~smies~, however if you remember it said that when Adam and Lillith/Eve lived that the Sons of God lived too ~smiles~.  It is my closeness and personal relationship with God that brings me sanity and joy! ~smiles~.
    Actually, I would prefer to be there around the time of his crucifixion, and the person I would most want to talk to is Mary Magdeline who was pregnant with his child at the time of his death, and she was also his most favored disciple. (Nag Hammadi Library).
    Have you ever noticed the feeling you get right after Xmas is over.  It is such a stress reliever until you start getting the credit card bills ~laughs~
    I love you hun…you take care of your family and give smooches to that cute little Izzy! ~hugs~

  10. Even though I disagree with some of his beliefs, I am not deleting Adam’s comment.  He is a beloved friend at my space and I accept him fully as he accepts me. 
    Everyone is welcome here if they have no maliciousness.  The Management

  11. Hi Gail …I’m bad … It has been awhile since I visited. I try to keep up with everyone but sometimes I fail.Yes, Joseph would be interesting. I often tell people he set the standard for step-parenting. A good example to follow with all the blended families these day’s.One of my best Christmas Day’s was skiing at Snowbird, Utah. One of the first on the slopes that morning after a new fallen snow. It was like flying.I like to think of Christmas being everyday.You all be well my cyber friend and Merry Christmas … Greg

    You know???  I feel the same way about Joseph.
    I don’t have any images that conjure up the perfect Christmas.  I’ve been blessed to spend the last few Christmas’ with my mom.  There are a few rough years where that wasn’t the case.  I really don’t care where I am or what I am doing so long I’m with the people God gave me to love and treasure…
    And that is where I find my joy: in breathing in God’s love and living it out.

    You know???  I feel the same way about Joseph.
    I don’t have any images that conjure up the perfect Christmas.  I’ve been blessed to spend the last few Christmas’ with my mom.  There are a few rough years where that wasn’t the case.  I really don’t care where I am or what I am doing so long I’m with the people God gave me to love and treasure…
    And that is where I find my joy: in breathing in God’s love and living it out.

  14. Hey Gail, I’m now crazily shopping for allmy tonnes of nieces and nephews! big family as in cousins. Also having 3 christmas parties. hahaha… but I tell myself only once a year, and only time to reach out to my non Christian friends. 🙂 So I take it positively.
    Describe your perfect Christmas/Hanukkah?
    just being with my family and clsoe friends and friends who do not know Jesus sitting in my house listening to carols and choruses.
    What brings you true joy?
    hmmm……. my children? travelling amongst nature..
    You are in the Biblical time just after Jesus was born.  Who would you want to strike up a conversation with?
    Mary? to ask if their relationship was affected when Mary found out she was pregnant 

  15. My favorite Christmas is time alone with Him reflecting on what he has done in my life and the fact that He gave his only son so that I could have everlasting life.  Every day is Christmas in my life.  A day to just rejoice and be at peace with everything.  I think so much time is spent in the commercialization of Christmas that the real reason for the season is soon forgotten.  It really saddens me.  I would prefer not to receive gifts.   
    Just reflecting on the past and seeing where I"m at now brings me joy.  And I know I couldn’t have done it without faith in Him.  Many times I stand back and say Wow!  Finishing up my first semester as a professor and earning my MBA.  Both are much more than I ever would have imagined accomplishing.  Thinking that I just knew I would be starting my PhD this semester and then seeing how things have turned around.  I know to have patience and faith because He truly has the plan for me. 
    Yes I would agree with you about having a conversation with Joseph.  That would be interesting. 
    As far as my pictures on the elves.  Of course, I had to pick my favorite pic of me.  lol….I don’t take good pics anymore.  I need to have some more taken.  Are you getting snow or ice today.  We are getting some freezing rain. 

  16. Thank you for dropping my space and leaving kind comments.
    I agree with you whats you said in here.
    I see more An Accidents on the road the younger people (drink & drive) with high speeds,
    In end died that’s sad for everybody.
    The people’ were increased their debit that makes them get the stress.
    Because of Christmas that some people were tend to spend money which doens’t needed it,
    It’s all todays material world (tv, computer,Etc) 
    The Christmas time is should be just simple things with small present for Children and the family get togher have nice dinner.
    Not anymore? and yet I’m sure some people are still doing quietly enjoy spend time for lovely Christmas times.
    I’m not religious person just I believed in the Buddhism.
    Your Q: I read from News paper.
    I hope your day has been a good one,

  17. hey G of mine… been a long time…. i hope ur doing goodi wanna call u…. i will find those calling cards and give u a call… miss u lotsur daughter from south america…♥

  18. Here’s where I drive everyone nuts with my "Pollyanna-ism". I LOVE Christmas! I love the serenity of the fields around me – they have been harvested and sit empty and peaceful, feeding the cattle and wildlife the leftovers missed by the combines. I love bundling up and cramming the five of us into the pickup and driving over the terraces in the pastures looking for the perfect tree. I love catching the scent of fresh-cut cedar when you walk into the house. I love making fudge, cookies, peanut clusters, and planning and preparing for our Christmas Brunch – cinnamon rolls, biscuits and sausage gravy, egg casserole. I love picking out a Christmas Eve program for the kids at church and the practices and preparation it takes. I love spending Christmas Eve in church, playing the old favorite carols while the congregation sings, ending with Silent Night and walking wordlessly out of the sanctuary with our candles, the "Merry Christmas"es ringing in the air as we head home. I love watching the kids pick out where to hang their stockings, then reading the Christmas Story and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" aloud. I love waiting for them to go to sleep – watching the vocal and bell choirs perform on TV – then filling their stockings with things I’ve found throughout the year.
    I could go on and on, I refuse to let the greed, the crabbiness affect the day I celebrate, with my family, the birth of my saviour – maybe not on the actual day of his birth – but on the actual day of His first conversation with me.
    So, from the heart, Gail – Merry Christmas! -cindy

  19. Hey!  I remembered Friday’s Feast.  Um — it’s Friday right?  LOL!  Serves me right for missing all the others.  
    Have a great weekend!

  20. During the holidays we mark the longer daylight hours, new beginnings, and the possibility of both giving and receiving gifts of peace, joy, and hope during the coming year.  May wonderful Christmas blessings of good health and prosperity be yours. 
    Peace on Earth ~ Truly

  21. Gail – I loved the quotes.  Such rich, profound truth.  If I had to strike up a conversation with someone from when Jesus was born it would be the woman at the well – a recipient of such mercy – I can relate.
    Take care,

  22. Last year was the first year we didn’t pretend a Santa for Christmas (my daughter was 10 and still pretending before that!) and though there is some sadness with the passing of time as our children mature, I am completely at ease now with the holiday season.  I don’t feel the stress I used to feel.  And if things don’t get done, then oh well….we have even adopted the "Christmas Story" chinese dinner on Christmas day, since we have such a feast at Thanksgiving, and it is only us 4 here and no other family members close by to share. We have done the Chinese dinner deal for 3 years now.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still lots of food prep in the weeks before Christmas, so that I don’t have to spend lots of time in the kitchen while everyone else is playing on vacation.
    Oddly enough, I have this fantasy about the perfect Christmas as going to New York and looking at all of the window displays, but never buying anything.  There would definately have to be a light flurry involved too!
    The kids got their early Christmas present of laptops…so there will be nothing more than little bits and bobs under the tree this year…which made it very easy! no stress!!!!

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