“I have no gifts to bring parum pum pum pum...”
I feel the Little Drummer Boy’s pain in this season of life.
You may not have material items to give others, but there are free gifts you can give to friends and family during the holidays and throughout the year.
1. CLEAN SOMETHING. Recently in borrowed work space someone said, “Oh, we are not going to sweep. It was already a mess when we got here.” That comment made me feel sad. Aside from the fact that sweeping is on our checklist, I believe in leaving places better than they were whenever possible. The broom and dust pan stood in the corner. I collected debris in 5 minutes. No one may notice, but I know that caring for someone’s space is an act of love and appreciation.
Deposit positive energy. At someone’s home, you can do dishes without making a fuss or be the person who collects discarded wrapping paper. If the trash can is full, then take the bag outside. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Just do the deed that alleviates someone else’s stress.
2. GIVE QUIETLY. Long ago someone told me about how a visiting family member was helpful but then offered a whiny soliloquy about how they mopped the floor and how they ran a load of laundry. Listen, no one wants to hear about the dust bunnies you cleared or the obstacles you faced when searching for the perfect gift. Have a funny story? Then maybe share. Or ask yourself, is your intention to draw light to show how you should be noticed for your efforts? If so, then no. Hush.
Do you volunteer at church? Then do it with grace. People need the peace that can be found in church rather than the distraction of a grumpy volunteer.
Did you just clean your house for guests? Are you exhausted because cleaning was way overdue? Then check yourself before opening the front door. Don’t greet people with your stress. People need your warm welcoming smile.
Just do or not do…quietly.
We could talk about being present for others. We could talk about self-care and doing less around the holidays. We could talk about the Mary and Martha story in the Bible. As much as we hail Mary for simply being with Jesus, there’s a place for Martha in the story too.
An able bodied someone can help others in the spirit of love and kindness without any need of accolades. With ALS in our home, I often find myself silently thanking God that I have legs that can climb stairs and a body that can bend to pick up things. I don’t say that out loud to Hubby, but I do lift my thanks to my Higher Power. Quiet gratitude renews my spirit even in the moments when my body wears out for the day.
Martha might not be mentioned in Luke 10 if she gave quietly.
Be a stealth Bible Martha.
And please take out the trash & recycling–quietly.