‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
~ 1848 Shaker song by Elder Joseph Brackett.
Today we packed away the majority of the Christmas decorations. The tree we’ll finish tomorrow. We leave our decorations up through Epiphany or the first weekend after because we like to celebrate the full Christmas season. It ended very nicely for us last night with friends over for some good food, good wine and good fellowship.
As we were boxing things away we edited down. We probably could afford to do that again. My wife made the comment that we were very blessed and how it seems somewhat extravagent to have dishes we use only once a year. But a good two boxes of Christmas decorations in good shape that we just don’t need are going to charity this week.
There are still way to many boxes too be stored. And in this day of economic uncertainty that just seems a little excessive.
I have for the last couple of years been intrigued by the call of the Advent Conspiracy to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All. We didn’t quite make it this year. Snow and travel kept us from Church the Sundays before and after Christmas, although we did make Christmas Eve Communion. We spent more than we planned and more than we should have. Of course that spending was in trying to give more. We have a long way to go towards loving all.
But the point is that we want to get there. So we’ll keep trying.