"On the first day of Christmas,So begins the Christmas song that reminds me more of "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" than of anything to do with a baby in a manger.
My true love gave to me..."
I'm pretty good with the early numbers. It's when I get up to 10, 11, and 12 that I get confused. Is it "10 pipers piping" or "10 drummers drumming?"
Sometimes I feel like Fozzie Bear, forgetting what comes next:
"Ba-dum BOM BOMP!"
This year, in the spirit of thankfulness that the season brings, I'm going to revamp the 12 Days of Christmas with lyrics that more accurately reflect the gifts I've been blessed with and the things that make my life worth living. ('Cause, truth be told, if my True Love gave me a partridge in a pear tree, I wouldn't be singing about it. At least, I wouldn't be warbling a particularly happy song.)
I owe the inspiration, in part, to Kathy at Bliss Habits (@BlissHabits). Her blog is dedicated to the intentional enjoyment and awareness of things that bring us bliss. One of her Bliss Habits is "Gratitude."
Recently, I encountered a question that challenged me:
If you woke up tomorrow with only the things you'd given thanks for today,
what would still be in your life?
I want to be more intentional in my gratitude. I have enough clothes to wear and won't go to bed hungry. I can see, hear, taste, run, create, worship Whomever I want and freely voice my thoughts. For these and many other things, I am grateful.
Perhaps by sharing my 12 Days of Christmas, I can encourage you to come up with your own list of things that bless your life.
"On the first day of Christmas,I live in a house that's over 120 years old, situated on 60 soggy acres in southwestern Michigan. Few would consider that anything to sing about. I, however, could compose odes to our home all day long.
My true love gave to me:
An old farm in the country."
|My view from the dining room table.|
When we started house hunting, we were young and had precious little money. We knew we wanted enough acreage to keep a few horses, and we had to be within driving distance of WunderGuy's work. As a result, we looked at every falling-down fixer-upper within 50 miles. We looked... And looked... And looked.
There was the "Indoor Pool House" with 3 feet of standing water in the basement.
There was the "Gadget House," full of every conceivable amenity from built-in vacuum cleaner and intercom system to convection ovens and warming racks in the kitchen. None of which worked. If WunderGuy had been an electrically-gifted handyman, the house would have been a steal. As it was, we only saw a Money Pit of broken gizmos.
Then there was the "Death House," in which an entire room was painted a dull, dead blue, and a pentagram covered the floor. Mounds of melted candle wax and the dessicated bodies of mice and other hapless creatures completed the decor. Um... no.
We looked for over a year. We despaired of ever finding something we both liked and could afford. Then we looked at an old brownstone farmhouse. As soon as I walked through the front door, I knew that I was home.
|Sunrise from my kitchen window.|
It needed significant work. Some projects, like needing a kitchen, new windows, and a barn, we knew about when we bought the place. Others -- like needing a new bathroom and furnace -- were unexpected surprises. But it felt like home the first day we moved into it and 20 years later, its hominess has only increased.
I'm grateful for my home. I consider a dry, safe, welcoming place a great blessing. Sure, it's old. Sure, it has about a million and one things that could be done to update it and make it better. Sure, I have friends whose homes are newer, nicer, and less covered with dog hair. But I'd be hard-pressed to find a home with more love in it. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
That's Day 1. Tune in tomorrow for Day 2...
With 12 days left to Christmas, what one thing are you most grateful for?