It’s getting colder outside, but I can feel the excitement in the air. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Like ants at harvest, and shoppers on Black Friday, all the Wonderlandians are gathering stacks of bibbles. You know what I'm talking about; those magnificent gifts that every person hopes to find under the tree on Christmas morning, the whimsical ones you’ve wished for. Determined bargain hunters are on a mission; shop till you drop. They hide these bibbles in nooks and crannies, behind baseboards and beds, along with all the shiny and bright blingtastic baubles they collected in their myriad shopping expeditions throughout the year. Who in their right mind hasn’t always secretly wished for a Bedazzler, or something illuminatingly glorious to show off and brag about?
Topping them off are the must-have electronic offerings of the moment, many of whom are outdated before gifties even tear off the plastic. I like to call them whatchamacallits because I don't know what they are, how they work, or how to play them, but the next generation seems to crave them. You know what I mean: those blinking thingies with on-off switches that talk and you can win stuff when you play games on them.
Well-meaning munchkins deliver wheelbarrows of wrapped doo-dads and you-know-whats to friends and families, until all the decorated homes are stuffed to the gills with stuff. But you know what? Life has nothing to do with stuff. Have you ever seen a hearse hauling a U-Haul? Me neither. You can collect things your whole life and not take them with you when you pass.
I remember one of my most joyous Christmas presents, when my son was five. He stood alone in front of the entire church, wearing his housecoat, dressed like a shepherd, and recited the Christmas story, Luke 2, verses 4 to 20. My heart was bursting with pride. He reminded me of Linus from Charlie Brown, telling the world about Jesus' birthday. And this gift he shared with the world didn't include one thing-a-ma-bob, scratch-and-sniff or regifted treasure.
So, this season, when you're contemplating the Best Gift Ever, consider the gift of time. Life is so fleeting; we all have experienced loss, when a mere breath separates life from death. What I wouldn't give just to have one more day with those loved ones who left us even this past year. While we dare to live, let's treasure those moments when we get to make memories, those hours spent laughing so hard your tummy hurts, and those evenings spent dancing, singing, loving, and maybe nibbling just one butter tart, oh and a turkey leg, but don’t forget Bling. Gotta have Bling!
Those bibbles and baubles and whatchamacallits will always be around, collecting dust. On the other hand, those priceless people we care about will be happiest spending time doing nothing, as long as we are all doing nothing together.