(Originally posted on my private blog 24 January 2010. Just needed the reminder...BEFORE Christmas.)
I know the decorations are put away, the music changed, and the lights gone. Christmas is over for another year. It's only been a few weeks and it already feels like ages ago that we were gathered together with cheer in our hearts and giving first and foremost in our minds.
I wanted to take a nap, but recognized I would need a little coaxing to transfer me quickly and wholly to unconsciousness. Scanning through my book shelf for something light, I picked up the small book. It had been a Christmas gift that I had yet to find the time to enjoy. Now seemed like a perfect time to dabble in it's pages a bit before falling prey to the warmth of a Sunday nap.
I opened the cover of The Christmas Jars, briefly wondering how long my eyes would remain propped open. Two hours later, I closed the back cover of the devoured book. My eyes had not only remained wide open, they had gathered in a story that caused my heart to swell and throb with sorrow and joy several times. The story had left a mark etched in my countenance, evidenced by the trace of tears on my cheeks and the runny-ness of my reddened nose.
I slowly sat up from my reading spot on the bed and, in habit, glanced around to secure the time. Instead, I discovered something that caused a shocked laugh to bubble up from my throat.
There on my dresser drawers sat a Mason canning jar.
A clean, empty jar I had inadvertently placed there the day before when my arms and hands had been overflowing with clean laundry. The jar had been destined for the storage room. Now it sat in a most chilling and thrilling coincidental place.
It was a call to make a story more than just a light read or an afternoon tear-jerker. It was a tug, a prompting, a bidding to make the story real for myself and my family.
That jar has been moved to the kitchen where it will stand sentinel around the gathering coins. It's diminishing empty space will diligently nudge us away from our own chaos and concern and revive our better selves into doing more, more often. Maybe even more than collecting pennies.
Here's to making Christmas last the whole year through!