As per usual this time of year, I keep thinking of people who need to be written to, gifted, and/or thanked, so my finished to-do list keeps getting undone. But it's for good reasons, and I have a good little helper who loves to carry things in stores and write in cards when allowed. Her ardent desire to assist is adorably and refreshing when my own energy wanes.
Brooklyn has requested my Pentatonix Christmas playlist every day, and I've been filling in with other Christmas albums (I love Pentatonix, which is why I introduced her to them, but I'd prefer not to get burnt out). I haven't done as well this year at intentionally pausing - we light candles and do Advent readings over breakfast, but that's about how long it takes them to eat so any sort of quiet contemplation/journaling afterwards isn't going to happen.
Then too, I'm on the launch team for Kristen Welch's new book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World (which means having an advance copy to read), so that's been coloring my perception of the holiday season as I examine my own heart and motives, and get increasingly disgusted with our over-stuff-ed culture and my own entitlements... and then my earrings of the month came. Secretly made, smuggled out of the country, supporting women in an extremely hostile environment - then delivered by a trust-worthy mail carrier to the postbox I walked to without fear while Brooklyn and Tobin were having their afternoon nap. Worlds apart in more ways than one - but I'd like to narrow the gap a little. I'd like to recognize the gift of where/when I am and then use that to benefit others (I feel like Fair Trade Friday and Carry the Future are good places to start) - I'd like to notice the good and lift it high, instead of trampling over it in order to join everyone else in burning the latest imagined villain in effigy (or reality) - and I'd like gratitude to become a reflex, on the same level as breathing, instead of an afterthought.
2231. Brooklyn "helping" me write in Christmas cards
2232. Tobin's renewed interest in food (he lost his appetite while he was sick)
2233. Warm enough weather for a walk at the park
2234. Cookies at Dempsey - we each had one, and everyone was excited over theirs
2235. Being reminded by Brooklyn that "God loves you and you are loved and beautiful and those three things never change"
2236. Her joy over a found toy, whose loss had been concerning her for quite awhile