We get our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving day at our cabin in New Mexico. So the day after Thanksgiving is my day to "deck the halls" which is more exhausting every year! Anyway, as I was lighting the tree and unwrapping all my treasured ornaments (including the ornaments the kids made with their pictures in them over the years) I was thinking about the term "Keeping Christmas" from Dickens' "A Christmas Carole" and that made me think of a friend of mine.
Just before we left for Thanksgiving I was having a conversation with her. She and I are about the same age and are in the same "season" of our lives. However, she has never married because she learned early not to trust her taste in men. She was talking about how much comfort she gets from an electric blanket when she is curled up at home. She decided that she was going to go out on Black Friday and buy some electric blankets for the elderly in our community. She could imagine how much comfort they would get from the warm gift.
My friend (who I will not name because it would embarrass her) is not wealthy. She is saving for her own retirement. She has never had a new car in all the years I have known her. She has to be frugal, shop carefully and rarely eats out. And her way of "Keeping Christmas" is not decking the halls, it is making sure that someone else is warm.
There are lots of ways to celebrate the Holidays. We all have our own traditions, favorite foods, favorite decorations, etc. But how nice it would be to sit curled up on Christmas morning, wrapped and warm in your electric blanket and know that there are others wrapped up and warm because of you. THAT is the "Keeping Christmas" I aspire to! It doesn't take a lot of money to impact someone's life for the better. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation.