It seems like most people in the Western World devote a tremendous amount of time and planning to orchestrate a successful Christmas and New Years Eve/Day. As sad as it is to think about it, many people have not paid off last years presents and yet are hurriedly buying new ones. Oh and the race to be the first to put up decor makes shopping from September to the end of the year bizarre as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, New Years, and of course Valentines Day decorations bombard every one's vision.
As I sit and look to my mountains to the east of my farmI think about December and have some thoughts that are more than what most see it as. December is not about caroling, although caroling is nice because as a caroler I feel as though I can sing-thanks to all those with me! No, December is about visiting those that rarely get another crossing their doorways. It is about making sure our neighbors that are elderly, infirm, or widowed are able to meet their needs. And as I borrowed from Buzz Lightyear, we should take this beyond December. We need to be sure if inclement weather hits, that the folks I mentioned are fine. This is something I have been reflecting this month.
As I look to my mountains which at times make me feel as though I have traveled to Ireland,
I think about all the baking and food planning and preparation that is going on this month. If you have read this blog any at all you know I love baking, and planning meals. But December should also be about the planning of more than for a day or a few dozen cookies. December should take us beyond to the entire year. I know for the average American, food waste is pretty high. In the food production areas waste can be over 10%. In an American home the stat can go up to 15-20% of food purchased is wasted(thrown away). It would be a great thing if we could make menus and shop accordingly to reduce our waste and therefore increase money in the budget-which will result in maybe paying off debt. As we reflect upon the 46 million Americans that are on Food Stamps, it is easy to correlate that 15-20% of money to help them is also being tossed, as the poor are not unlike the middle class or the wealthy, in the US. I do appreciate those that will argue with me on this topic. I am well aware of real poverty, I live in an area that is considered a Colonia and I also see the slums of Juarez weekly if not more. Truth be told though, we Americans are far wealthier than most of the world.
A simple thing to do would be to make a two week menu and plan all the items you need for your menu. Include snacks in this. Then buy according to what you eat. It is very easy to read a magazine or see a blog recipe and rush out and buy things that then sit and rot in your home. What is more realistic is to make foods you and your family eat and set one or two days a month aside for sampling a new recipe. This way you do not have a ton of Indian ingredients and realize that your children cannot stand curry. Another great thing to do, especially if you are a local reader of my blog(wink-wink) is to have a bucket with a lid, such as an ice cream bucket and scrape your food slops in this and donate it to the farm. It makes for a great compost and the chickens love food slops.
As I turn my head slightly to the north east from my front door I see views that take my breath away and I am reminded of the division this month has caused in America. We are between Jesus is the Reason for the season and Happy Holidays, oops and Happy Winter Solstice-Happy Hanukkah, and yes others...it has become the poster board month of holidays. You know why? Because money can be made folks. We sit and harp and moan about what the season is about and forget that it is from December and beyond. Many of the Reason folks accumulate so much debt that it is hard to see that they understand the real reason...and materialism has become the new idol that many of us bow down to, sometimes without realizing it ourselves. The Happy Holiday folks are the peacekeepers without purpose. Yes, I said this-you see like the UN Peacekeepers, the Happy Holiday folks really don't believe in the spirit but enjoy the proceeds of the celebrations. They are ill armed with any factual data and have no problem decorating a tree with beer cans. Nothing against how anyone celebrates the holidays because the truth of the matter is that ALL of us have divided ourselves from the Truth when we join in the battles of the reasons for the season. You see the Truth goes beyond December and literally beyond our scope of understanding. December is not about any of us, but about something far greater...
As I look at the rainbow over my mountains,
I am reminded of a promise that God made to all of us. He placed a bow in the sky to remind us that he would not flood the earth again. This simple reminder should also let us know that God is real and aside from the cutesy ark filled with animals that many collect or play with, the story of Noah's ark is of great sadness as all but 8 died as a result of wickedness of man that was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was of only evil continually. Genesis 6:5
As we go through the month of December please remember that from December and beyond is what the greatest gift is. Instead of giving gifts this year, receive the gift that is freely given, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
And if you would like a gift from the Double Nickel Farm of a Bible leave me a message with your address and name and we will send you a Bible. I will not publish the comments with requests.
May you have a from December and Beyond month.
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."