Thursday, December 10, 2009

On remembering...

Above is an attempt to recreate the oil painting, Virgin and Child, by Janet Driver. I was unable to locate any on-line images of her beautiful work, so you'll have to settle for my rough interpretation of it. I added the verse from Psalms, but the picture came from a Christmas card we received last year from Ben's great aunt Phyllis. I saved it all year knowing it would become a banner someday.

Below is another picture to give you an idea of how big the banner is. It's 8'x11'. An equally big thank you again to Ben, Dad, Mom, Holly, Sarah and Grace for all your help!
As usual, we are struggling again with how to transcend the commercialization of Christmas and make it a holiday that is significant to our faith. For the past three years we started getting each other only one present to symbolize the one, most important gift from God. This year we've abstained until now, two weeks before the big day, to do any decorating at all, mainly because we were reevaluating all of our traditions or lack thereof. I still wanted to encourage the Christmas spirit in our home somehow. I'm so excited that today, I had an idea...and Ben liked it!

Last year we got yet another inspiring Christmas card, this one from our friend Joey Weaver. It had a picture of himself on it and of Mary and baby Jesus. It said something to the effect of, "I give this gift to you because He gave this gift to us". It was genius in it's simplicity and poignancy. That gave me an idea.
As we all set it up, I explained to Z that Jesus is our present from God and the reason we celebrate Christmas. Because of his gift to us, we give gifts to each other, which we put below the nativity. I reviewed with him, "OK, where's the present on top of the table?" He scanned the table and gave me an apologetic look as if, "Sorry mom, but I don't see it." I pointed to Jesus, and he shouted, "JESUS!!!" He found the presents under the table much more easily.

We asked family to only get us one present each, if anything at all, to ramp up the materialism warfare. We found a great deal of inspiration on this website: It has a huge list of non-purchase gift items on it. FlyLady also has an excellent no clutter idea list for presents. We won't be doing cards this year, mainly out of frugality. Our apologies to those waiting feverishly for it! Feel free to cut us off your card list too, it'll save you a few pennies. However, if you decide to send us one anyways, we do appreciate it and are grateful for whatever inspiration that comes with it.


Jo said...

Brilliant Becca. This is definitely what I aspire to for Christmas. I am giving charity gifts this year, which is a further step on the path for me. Great job on the banner too. It must have taken you ages! xx

Anonymous said...

Amazing banner, Becca! And I love the Christmas idea you came up with. What a great visual!

I am sending you a card (as you probably ascertained from my address request). There are so many extended family members that we never see, as well as rarely seen (or never seen) friends, that we decided to continue the tradition for at least one more year. But, it was not a decision lightly made. :)