Monday, December 19, 2011
Christmas Stockings -- What are they filled with?
Are Christmas stockings a tradition in your family? What items are stashed in those festive socks? candy? cookies? other items?
The stockings can be plain or fancy, decked with ribbons and gold, green or red, satin or felt.
For as long as I can recall as our family celebrated Christmas, we included the stockings in our festivities. Sometimes, we actually had a "fireplace" to display them, other times, they were tacked to the wall. They weren't filled until Christmas eve. (No peeking!) They always held BIG surprises!
Even the family cat and dog received a stocking full of appropriate treats!
That got me to thinking about what filled my "spiritual" stocking? faith? love? hope? or was it filled with sadness and loneliness? At this time of year, whether widowed or not, pressure to "give" surrounds us. Not the tangible gifting but the expectations of others to see us filled with "feelings of joy and happiness." No one should be sad on Christmas! No one should be isolated or alone during the holidays!
The pressures also of how much to spend on Christmas as become a real stress producer for most families. The stocking stuffers have gotten more expensive through the decades and the dollars don't go as far any more. I would recommend "sock simplicity" -- Whatever your family decides, try to focus on the get together and WHO it is that you are celebrating instead of how much everyone is going to "expect" to get. We are each blessed with a certain amount of income and I'm not a fan of credit so postponing payments on plastic is not an option -- therefore, I have what I have and not a penny more! (whew, got on my soapbox there).
Getting back to the stocking concept, in this new solitary life, my spiritual stocking seems as though at some point there's a hole in it. All the contents has spilled out and I'm left with nothing. Feeling tired and drained it's hard to imagine a stocking "full of laughter and celebration."
It takes prayer and acceptance of our situations (however different they may be) to move to a new place in our lives but we cannot do it on our own. The Ultimate stocking filler is Jesus! He will fill us with joy, comfort and peace in times of despair and loss. What a wonderful remedy for all that troubles us. Listen for that still voice and feel the goodness that springs out of His fountain of mercy!
Isa 9:6 "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given..."