I am a follower of the Christian faith. I particularly like those Great Commandments: Love God and Love your Neighbors (Matthew 22:37-39). I love that our neighbor is defined, in the story of The Good Samaritan, as not the person with faith beliefs exactly as our own, but as the person who unselfishly loves and cares for others (Luke 10:25-37). I’ve always loved Christmas and the Hope it encourages. Like my friend Shari, I embrace the motivation hope provides: to persevere and believe in the promise of the future. The Christmas Story is full of encouragement to persevere and have faith in the promise of the future.
I’m sure, as my children and grandchildren opened their gifts from me, they were hopeful for the Christmas money I typically give to them (I had always looked forward to monetary gifts). They can then use that money to buy things they were hoping for. This year, I played a cruel trick. I was inspired by the cruel trick 2020 was to us all. I made each of my children and grandchildren a mask and hid their Christmas money in the mask’s filter pocket. I did wash the Christmas money first, because money is dirty (always literally and sometimes figuratively). They’ve all received many of my homemade masks. They have not been thrilled. As in all things I make, function takes precedent over form. To be honest, even function can be questioned as one of my homemade mask’s attributes. Some were too thick, making it difficult to breath. Others tugged and pulled at the ears of the wearer creating a new torture technique for would-be terrorists. The Christmas masks were made using my favored pattern, but my sewing machine is limping along and skipping stitches as it experiences mask-making-induced Coronavirus fatigue. Openers of the mask-containing boxes were encouraged to change the filter immediately with the polypropylene filter also enclosed in the box. Since I won’t see my family open their gifts this year, I’ll have to hope they change out the filters before tossing the masks aside. As I said, this was a cruel trick of the gift-giving variety.
I’m hoping (in the Christmas spirit) that 2020 will contain some value-hidden surprises like my Christmas masks did. It contained a lot of opportunity for ingenuity. People were provided the time to discover hidden talents and re-ignite past interests. I was impressed by the ingenuity teachers possessed (not all, but most) as I watched my grandkids complete on-line learning. In a dark year, there were plenty of opportunities to shine.
So this Christmas, the secrets out – the money’s in the mask; the light shines brightest in the dark; and we’re most creative when there’s a need to create. It’s no secret that I LOVE my family and friends. I strive to be a Good Samaritan so love to you and yours. Love is what makes life good and life IS good.