Several weeks back, I introduced you to Sam Laird. Sam and his wife Betty remain some of the dearest people in my life. I was blessed to work alongside Sam for four years in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas when church-wide Christmas parties didn't require a cover charge or a mandatory dress code.
Two days ago, I received these words:
Like so many others, I was touched by your Christmas blog. Growing up in the Oklahoma dust bowl and depression, I learned to be thankful for the smallest gift, the "hand me down" clothes, and the red mesh stocking of hard candy with an orange given out by the Presbyterian church. But we never lacked for love.
When my children were small and complained that "We don't have anything to play with," I would put the family in the car and drive to the poorest area of Oklahoma City. By the time we returned home, with little conversation, the children wanted to know what they could give. The lesson remains with them to this day, for they are open-hearted and giving.
This Christmas, in my 82nd year, I too have said "I want nothing." The gifts I want are the love of family, friends, and more years to show God's love.
So my gift to you is NOTHING..........BUT MY LOVE.
Merry Christmas, Sam
I guess if I have one wish this holiday season, on a purely personal level, it would be this: can we agree that a healthy attitude of rebellion against the consumerism of the season isn't a bad thing? In view of the multitude of blessings God has already showered upon me, I regret not one word I wrote last Friday. It is a blow to tradition in my life -- an utter shock to my consumer-driven spirit. But the liberation of simplicity rests in the freedom to bask in the overwhelming blessing of God yesterday while realizing I truly want for nothing today.