Tag Archives: peace

The Last Christmas Gift

Elsie looked around the room. There was carnage everywhere. A tornado passing through would have left less damage. Bodies were strewn throughout the mayhem. She chuckled. Just another Christmas morning with children.

One of the bodies stirred. A little fist came up from beneath the wrapping paper it had been curled under. A pile of boxes sneezed. Another child was stirring. Elsie thought perhaps there were a few more to come. But she knew the fresh smell of coffee would probably wake all the adults up. Sure enough, the love of her life wandered into the room, his hands wrapped around a hot steamy mug. With no hesitation he handed it to Elsie and returned from whence he came to get another.

A few more adults showed up with coffee at hand and a tray of hot chocolate for the children. It was Christmas morning. It was after the frenzy of opening gifts. After breakfast. Everyone had been up so early for the main event that the naps became inevitable. The children slept curled around their newfound bounty while the adults found more comfortable settings. Elsie didn’t need a nap. She wanted to watch her charges. There is nothing more spiritual then the breath of a sleeping child, safe and secure in her surroundings.

There was a different feeling in the room as everyone gathered once again. They all knew what was coming. Except for one. Malcolm was new to the group, to the family. He was still getting used to the Western dynamic. He had been born into soul crushing poverty in another country. His family had been killed in a local war that no one understood.  He was alone. But he had been found by people who cared and so began his journey to this moment.

“Malcolm,” send Elsie, “There is one more Christmas gift for the family. That includes you. But you don’t know the history so I’m going to tell you how this all started.”

Malcolm set up straighter, he was interested to know how things worked here and he was curious about his new family. So, he listened very carefully.

Elsie continued: “When my Great, Great, Great Grandfather came to this country he was very poor. But his parents believed they could find a better life, a better future in the New World. They risked everything. The first few years were hard but they were a hard-working family. That first Christmas looked like it was going to be pretty bleak. There was barely enough money for food let alone presents. But there was a wise patriarch and he refused to be sad. He said the goose had wandered across the street and died. His beloved wife said nothing as she picked the buck shot out of the breast of their Christmas goose.

They said grace and gave thanks for their bounty. The light was dim and the curtains were thin but they knew that others were worse off so they gave thanks. And that’s when my ancestor brought out the Last Christmas Gift.”

Elsie sat back in her chair and smiled.  She looked at the faces around her beaming with anticipation. She loved this part of Christmas.

“Ever since then we have honoured the tradition that was started so many years ago.”

As if by magic a small beautifully wrapped package appeared in her lap. There were many ooohs and aaaahs from her audience. And not just the children!

With studied patience Elsie peeled back the wrapping paper. And then with a flick of her wrist a small wooden carving appeared in the palm of her hand. It was a little drummer boy.

Elsie smiled. “Would anyone like to tell me what gift this is?”

Malcolm looked confused. He didn’t know the story of the Little Drummer Boy. And then something miraculous happened. A little tow-hair girl stood up and walked to Malcolm. She wrapped her little arms around him and said:

“His gift is to us all. He was a little drummer boy who had no presents to give the newborn King, Jesus Christ so he played his drum. He gave all he had in his heart and it was the most precious gift of all. That’s what we all need to do. And it will be precious.”

 

The end

 

 

 

 

Your Christmas Tree

 

What will you find

Underneath your tree?

Will there be presents

For you and for me?

 

Will there be games

Or a train set for you?

Did you speak to Santa

So he knows what to do?

 

I wished and I prayed

That Joy would be there

Nestled beneath

The world would be fair.

 

The morning was bright

The tree stood up tall

And just below its branches

Was Peace for us all!

Quiet Peace

I rise in the morning

The sun still asleep

The moon has gone

From the sky

The cars are not growling

The sidewalks are clear

Even the birds still slumber

No cars horn are beeping

No shouting or calling

The rings of the phones

Are still silent

No planes overhead

No dogs underfoot

I can hear the beat of my heart

The breeze moves my hair

And kisses my cheek

And all is right with the world.

Serenity and Stuff

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I saw the title of a book recently and while I don’t remember the exact title, it was something about finding or searching for serenity in an age of anxiety.  I liked the words and what the words made me think of.  Is that not something we are all doing:  looking for a little serenity, a little peace?  How would you describe a peaceful setting?  Would it be a quiet, sandy beach, with gentle waves meandering slowly across the shore?  Perhaps a verdant meadow with long grasses swaying in the breeze is more to your taste?  Each of us has a special private place in our mind.  It may not even be conscious.  It is a special place where we feel safe and at peace.  The trick is accessing that private oasis when we need to.  We do live in a stressful world. There is war, disease, fear.  We work hard and play hard. There never seems to be enough time in a 24 hour cycle to do everything we need to or want to. We complain and we get up each morning and try to do it all again. To ensure optimal health there are professionals who are advocating rest and relaxation. New ideas?  NO! Our mothers would caution us as children not to overdo it. Now we are so hung up in obtaining ‘things’ that we lose sight of what is important:  relationships.  We need to have a strong relationship with our family, our friends, and even ourselves. Even more so if you are dealing with something as life altering as a serious disease.

Let’s put things into perspective. Am I always happy? Not by a long shot. Do I always do what I should? Really, you have to ask? Of course not!  Do I sometimes have popcorn for dinner or ice cream for breakfast? Well, yes.  Occasionally I even skip my exercises even though I know for certain that they make me stronger.  Why?  Well for one thing I’m human with all the idiosyncrasies and frailties inherent in our genes.  For another I would never claim to be perfect.  I sometimes get angry and snap at people. I’m fallible.  I make mistakes that hopefully I can learn from.  So you see I am not so different from you, at least on one level.  I do have this itty, bitty incurable disease, but we all need a little spice in our lives.  It’s a challenge.  Really.