I recently found a newsletter from a conservative political organization in my email inbox. After considering for a moment from what possible source the organization had collected my email address, I read through the opening article. It was a joyous shout out to the President-Elect, giving him the credit for doing away with political correctness and making it possible for Christians to once again say “Merry Christmas.”
Um, what? I must have missed the notice banning that phrase. I use it with confidence, among people who celebrate Christmas, especially on Christmas Day, itself. I also use “season’s greetings” and “happy holidays.” If I know what holiday, other than Christmas, an acquaintance celebrates, I offer my good wishes for that holiday. I do not consider this “political correctness,” and here’s why.
In the church calendar, Christmas is one day. One very important day, of course, but just one. The season leading up to it is Advent – four weeks of waiting and preparing our hearts. We light a candle each Sunday of Advent; the candles represent hope, joy, peace and love. These are the gifts Christ brings with Him, and they are bundled together in my mind when I say or write “season’s greetings.”
If we are supposed to show the love of Christ, why do we get bogged down in arguing about these words? All the holiday greetings, at their heart, are expressions of good will and joy. Yes, there are other holidays included in “happy holidays.” So what? When someone who celebrates a different winter holiday, or who celebrates Christmas secularly, wishes me happiness, I’m grateful. Their thoughtfulness does not diminish the importance of Christ to me, or in the world. When I wish non-Christians well, I am loving my neighbor; again, including whatever holiday they celebrate, by using a generic “happy holidays,” or even by specifically wishing them “happy solstice” (for example), does nothing do diminish Christ and the importance of His birth. In fact, by sharing these seasonal greetings, we increase the love, hope, peace and joy in the world. Politically correct or not, isn’t that a good thing?
It’s still cold and snowy, but the dark time is almost over! Yea! Truly – light at the end of the tunnel. And the seed catalogs are appearing in the mail….
Seed catalogs have started to appear in our mailbox!! Yea! Spring is coming! I can’t wait to see dirt (outside dirt, of course. Sadly, we have plenty inside…). Well, of course, I can wait. I’ll need patience for another three months. (Four, if this winter holds on as long as last winter did.)
The Garden in January 2014
Still, I love when the catalogs start arriving. I’m going to have twice as much space for growing veggies this year, and no away from home job to interrupt. And last year the property gave us most of what we needed to make a green house. That will be going up as soon as we can remove a few small stumps. What’s that you ask? How did the property give us a greenhouse? Well…
We had been pondering how we could build a greenhouse cheaply. I’d seen a prefab one at Sam’s Club; it didn’t really look big enough or sturdy enough, but the price was decent (less than $200). Husband went to check it out and discovered the much larger carport for about the same amount. With some modifications and additional structural support, he thought that would make a really nice greenhouse for between $300 and $500 dollars. He thought he might even be able to use some old pipe he’d noticed half buried in the woods on the property to lengthen the carport, or as replacement parts, if needed. Turns out, the old half-buried pipe was all the pieces of a similar carport. Only a few were damaged, and of those, most could be repaired. And it wasn’t super old.
Pipes Laid Out on Driveway, Summer 2013
He got some new pieces to replace the few unusable ones and lengthen the structure a bit, and built the first end wall last summer. We already had most of the plywood for the wall, salvaged from remodeling the inside of our house.
Structure Complete. Sorta
This is a good sign, I think. It’s like magic. We have a need and the land provides. I’m tempted to go stand in the middle of our field and say, “Golly, I could really use someone to clean my house….”
April 24, 2013
Yesterday I almost got my hopes up that winter was finally over. I’d been working on a blog post, whining about the amount of snow that was still piled up all over my yard and gardens. The kids were impressed by the size of the puddles in the road (big enough to engulf a car in some places), and one of them yelled, “Oh, yeah! It’s almost summer!!” I felt a glimmer of hope. After all, it can’t stay winter forever. The sun is back (it even feels warm on my skin!) and there is liquid water outside. This year the snow has held on a bit longer than usual, but now that it’s melting, it is going pretty fast. Spring will come!
This morning, there were 3 new inches of snow on my porch, and more was coming down. Somebody, please send me some patience!