Wrapping Up Christmas

A Christmas Bow, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

There have been times when, dead on my feet, at the striking of the midnight hour on Christmas eve I stood wrapping gifts, digging out bows from plastic bags, scribbling on tiny gift tags, hoping my supply of tape would not fail me, and trying, for a few more hours, to maintain some semblance of the Christmas Spirit. My ideal for late Christmas nights does not include such stress, and I certainly don’t want the wrapping of gifts for my loved ones to be merely a taxing chore through which I must plow before I can get on to the next scheduled round of holiday reveling and merrymaking. I’m of the mind that the trappings of Christmas should in no way swallow up authentic joy and the genuine celebration of the birth of Jesus.

On Thursday last, I shopped for the final gifts, and in the evening, I wrapped them. Although I admit that wrapping a large number of gifts is a tiring task, at the same time that simple chore fed me a glittering dose of pleasure. A little room that we call the game room opens off the balcony overlooking our living room and there, besides boxes of games, checker boards, and the like is a piece of cabinetry where I store wrapping paper, bows, and gift boxes. A square antique table, whose weathered surface we don’t worry about has been the scene of many a rowdy family game, and I use that table on which to place the gifts for wrapping.

Throughout the year it’s neat to have a spot where the wrapping materials are easily accesible and I often leave out this basket of ribbons. I must admit it doesn’t always look this neat in the little room , and if I were more honest, I would have taken pictures when I was up to my neck in paper and ribbon scraps, and the cupboard drawers were sprawled open and the floor was littered with plastic bags and the waste basket was overflowing…or when the grandkids don’t put back the games, and puzzle pieces are scattered all over and Chinese checker marbles are rolling around underfoot. Some day I might snap a few pictures when Chloe and the boys take over the room to wrap presents for their parents or to devise very special decorations for whatever season is in vogue.

 

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But I digress. A hot fire roared in our fireplace on Thursday’s holiday evening as I wrapped the presents and thought of my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and how blessed I am to have so many of them. Christmas carols played over our stereo unit and Jerry sat in his easy chair before the fire. Finally I was finished. I sorted the gifts by families, and set some at the top of the stairs. These we would bring back to Lake Havasu for our family here. The rest of them I placed on the piano that sets a mere few feet from the game room. I left the angels among the gifts, and after a while I lighted candles and looked…and thought…and cried a little…for my family, for Jesus, for candles and love, and for the spirit of Christmas.

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My devotional blog is here.

11 thoughts on “Wrapping Up Christmas

  1. I must admit this Christmas season, for a multitude of reasons, I have had a hard time getting “into the season.” (Refinancing our house is right up there on top of the list!) Today was the first day I did a little shopping! However… after reading this post, I feel ready. Thank you for sharing. I can always count on your posts to move me into action!

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  2. Esther

    Sorry about the “flighty hair” comment. I was trying to picture you late at night wrapping gifts. I know your hair would not have been “Church ready”. Ha! It was probably like mine most of the time. Love you………….

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  3. MERVI, I agree with you that there are many feeling, sentimental men. I was fortunate to marry one, and it sounds as though your wife was also. Thank you for adding the tribute to your mother. May the rest of your Christmas season be exceptionally blessed and full of joy.

    KAREN, thank you for the compliments. Happy tape, bows and tissue paper. 🙂

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  4. Beautiful post for this holiday season. Your gift wrapping came to life. In fact, I felt like I was sitting at that antique table with you. Thank you Sis Buxton, I will now start my wrapping with renewed energy and a thankful heart.

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  5. Sis. Buxton:

    To show that we, of the male precision, can also be sentimental. As I was reading and then reread your post, I could not help but think of my mother. The many years she would wrap and place our Christmas gifts for the three of us. The love and kindness that was mother’s many feeling for her three sons. The little thing that she did for us, even as we were three REAL boys, mother loved each of us in her way. Then to her grandchildren and finally the great-grand children mom also did the same for each. Mom is no longer with us. But I can help but think of her during this the Christmas season.

    May Jesus bless you and yours;

    Mervi

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  6. Esther

    Yes, yes, come to Andrew and Shawna’s the day after Christmas. That evening Tena is making her famous clam linguini – yummmmmmmm
    We are all going over there. Hope to see you.

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  7. Hey Esther–

    Flighty hair, huh? Sadly I must admit to such a condition. My mother said when I was born, my hair was sticking straight up. I’m not at all sure how that happened–must have been the last time–for my hair is as fine and soft as baby down–flighty, I guess one could say. 🙂

    Our plans are a little in flux for the days after Christmas. It’s possible we might see you in San Diego. Hope so. Have a safe trip.

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  8. Esther

    I can just see you Sis. Buxton. Your hair a little flighty, house shoes or barefoot, maybe a robe. I can see Pappy too. Sittiing down in front of the fire place. Dreading every time he has to get up to put more wood on. Nice and cosy. Your house will look, smell and feel like Christmas. I’ve been there, I know.
    We leave early morning Wed. the 19th, for sunny Ca. and all 12 of our wee ones. Well, some not so wee but all so precious.
    We will not have a car so do not see us getting up there to visit with you. But, we will certainly be thinking of you and those that are with you.
    I personally think all the hubbub and chaos is part of the excitment of Christmas.
    My gifts were bought and sent to CA. right after Thanksgiving. So, only a little more to do when we get there. I have lots of bakiing to do and look forward to haviing Chloe, Gentry and Ian helping me. They are the ones interested in cooking. But, I don’t expect Gentry and Ian to last long at that task.
    We love you all very much and will be thinking of you while wrapping, bakiing, cleaning up, refereeing swabbles, giving out advise that no one listens to, moaning from full tummies, and getting all the hugs and kisses I possibly can until we go home on the 27th.
    Keep painting those wonderful Christmas pictures with your awesome discriptive words. Love you both……………….

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  9. Three reasons, Helen:
    1. You are female.
    2. You are a mother.
    3. Your children are grown.
    4. You have the Christmas spirit.

    Number 4 is a bonus point. 🙂

    Edit: Aren’t you up sort of late?

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