Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creating Christmas

I have had alot on my mind lately. Specifically about Christmas, and the meaning of it.

It is not even Thanksgiving, and we are bombarded by Christmas. We haven't even given thanks, and we are being told of all the must haves, the need nows, the perfect gifts.

I'm tired of it. I don't need anything. I don't want anything. And frankly, I am weary of the meaning of Christmas being more about the material and not the spiritual. It doesn't sit well with me. At all.

I read a post on the Mother Letter blog about creating Christmas. Making something, instead of buying something. Simplifying. Giving to the people who truly need, rather than those we love who need nothing. Turning outward.

So this year, I am asking that anyone who would normally give me a gift, to not. Instead I am asking for money to buy fabric, and I will make blankets for the kids at Yahweh center, a home for severely abused and neglected children here in Wilmington.

A friend of mine was telling me yesterday how she worked with these kids. How she would go to move them from a foster home and they would be carrying their things in garbage bags. I can imagine the terror, the sadness, the fatigue. These poor kids world has been ripped from them. They are alone.

I know this feeling intimately.

I was that kid.

The details aren't important. But I can still feel the heaviness of unshed tears, my heart like a closed fist in my chest as I watched my mother get smaller and smaller out the rear view. Everything I had known, even though it was nothing but blood and hurt and booze, was gone. I was scared and hurt and blinded by fear. I am sure these children feel much of the same thing.

Will a blanket solve all their problems? No. But will it give them something of their own. Something to keep them warm, something to carry with them from place to place. A material anchor in the chaos of their lives.

With every blanket I sew, I will pray for the child it is going to. I will pray for peace, for warmth, for laughter. I will pray that if they wake from a nightmare, the blanket will keep them warm and give them a bit of comfort. I will pray that God is with them.