• 57°

I should know by now

If you’re like me (and heaven help you if you are!), you might be saying, “Why have I waited so long?

I should have gotten started earlier.”

There are so many things to do and so little time. So many people to see before the blessed day of Christmas. Oh, why, oh why didn’t I get started earlier?

It’s not like this is my first Christmas. I’ve been through this before, but every year, it seems that Christmas day approaches and time runs out before I can get around to doing all that I want to do or seeing all those beautiful people that I want to see.

Back a few weeks ago when I was finishing up the last little bit of turkey from Thanksgiving, I said to myself, “Myself, now is the time to make hay, while the sun is shining.” That’s an old saying from my farming days and you know what it means.

It has nothing to do with hay for the animals or sunshine in the sky. It means that one would be wise to understand that there are just so many hours in a day and the days are drawing nigh, so get started with all those things that must be done before the blessed day.

No lollygagging around!

“Chop-chop” as the saying goes.

Hurry up.

But no, not me. I spent the last few days of November and the first week of December acting as if time would stand still for me. Christmas would come when I got ready for it and not a moment sooner. But time and tide wait for no man or woman the saying goes. Now, it’s Dec. 23 and there is so much to do and so many to see. I guess we can only do our best.

As I ride through the communities of my churches and through the towns I know, I can’t help but think of person after person that I ought to see. I won’t name the names, but I will describe some of the people.

There is the precious, little lady who doesn’t get out too much, if any. She has outlived most all of her family and her health doesn’t allow her to drive even to church. But she remembers church and she depends on its members. Most of our year we keep saying, “I need to go by and visit.” Christmas is a great time for telling her how much her life has meant.

Right down the road from that precious, older lady is the one whose wife died this past year. This is his first Christmas without her and he could use a little cheering up.

Another one to visit is Bill. He became a statistic this year and could use a holiday visit and some encouragement. He joined the long list of those unemployed earlier this year. For the first time in 25 years, he has had to depend upon something other than his hard work and it has not been easy. Thankfully, his wife has a job, but Bill is not used to just sitting around and he thinks he has been forgotten. Maybe it’s time to show him he’s not.

I’d like to drop by and visit the Jones’ family, but that’s easier said than done. I don’t know what was said, but something caused them to quit coming to church. Not every visit is easy, but, shoot, it’s Christmas and perhaps these Christmas goodies will show them the way back. And even if they don’t, the family still deserves to know that they are missed.

I may be in a hurry, but I can’t drive all the way to Camilla without going by and seeing so-and-so. He used to be one of my best friends, and I’ve not seen him since last year during the holidays. If I had only seen him during one of my other trips throughout the year, I wouldn’t feel so guilty now. I had much more time back in June than I do now, but I talked myself out of it back then!

Oh, don’t let me forget the people at that business establishment that I see every week during the year. I’ve just got to stop by and say “Merry Christmas” to them. Would they miss my holiday greetings? Probably not, but I would.

And I just heard that Mary has received some very difficult medical news. Her 2010 is going to be a challenge and she’s discouraged. Maybe I could go by and spend a few moments with her, drop off some lady fingers, and have a Christmas prayer. I could let her know that we have hope this year and next because of that little baby boy that was born in the manger.

Johnny is going to be leaving for Afghanistan at the beginning of the new year and his family has him home for Christmas. They are proud of him, but a little worried. I’d like to just drop by and spend a few minutes with them. It won’t take too long and I will be better for it and, hopefully, they will too.

What about my family? Have I left enough time for them? What about shopping? Have I bought any presents for anybody? What about Christmas cards? When am I going to find the time to send everyone a card? I’m getting three, four or more each day. How did they find the time to send me one and I haven’t found the time to return the kindness?

What about this column? How am I going to find the time to write a nice Christmas column that would make everyone think about this wonderful season?

Caroling?

Christmas programs?

Parties?

Lady Fingers? (That’s an inside joke.)

Man, I’m in trouble! Here it is two days before Christmas and I’ve got all these things to do. There is no way I can ever do it. Especially, if I keep writing on this column.

Somebody remind me next August about Christmas. Right now, I’ve got some hay to make and even if the sun is not shining, I’ve got to go. I’ll do my best, but, whether I get around to seeing you or not, please be assured. I’m thinking about you and I wish you a very, Merry Christmas!