Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, December 21

I took my big bucket of change to the store yesterday to change it in at the CoinStar machine. As I walked by the Salvation Army bell ringers, I felt more than a twinge of guilt for giving only a handful of the change. When I got to the CoinStar machine and realized it wasn't working, I knew what I needed to do. The bell ringers had a big bunch of change yesterday, and I felt good knowing I had done the right thing.

A friend of mine was talking with me at lunch yesterday about how her nephew needed some books and learning toys for Christmas, but she didn't know what to buy him (and I suspect she doesn't have enough money to buy lots of things of that nature). So I came home and gathered up a bag of Eliza's toys and books to give her for her nephew, and again, I felt good knowing I had done a good thing.

Mike laughs at me each year because as much as I want the Christmas decorations up as soon as possible after Thanksgiving, I also want them to come down as soon as possible after Christmas. We've got a new tradition to start this year, though.

When Mike and his brother were kids, they had one of those horrible aluminum Christmas trees with the color wheel. When his mom died several years ago, his dad asked the boys if there was anything they wanted & Mike said that tree. It's been in our attic ever since.

This year, we're going to put the silver tree up when we take the Christmas tree down, and it's going to be our New Year's Tree. I'm going to cut circles of construction paper in two colors. On one color, we'll each write several things for which we are thankful for this year. On the other color, we'll each write a few things we hope for the coming year. We'll have guests in our home do the same thing, and we'll hang those circles of paper on the tree as ornaments.

We'll be reminded of our blessings this year, and we'll have a ready-made list of things to pray for in the coming year for the people we love. Another reminder that doing something good for someone else makes us feel good, too.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, December 21, 2005  ]


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