Friday, November 7, 2008

Simple Gifts

I am one of those people who never can suggest what I want for Christmas.

I do have to say that my sister has always been very creative in her gift giving, but I know that I am difficult to buy for. I just don't care about stuff. I don't wear jewelry every day, I don't collect knicknacks, and I don't care about clothes beyond comfort and appropriateness. I have carried the same handbag for two years--it is a name brand, albeit not a designer bag, and I bought it at Goodwill for two bucks.

Anyway, my point is not to brag about how I am so saint-like in my simplicity, which would be the ONLY thing which would be remotely saint-like about me, but to reflect on something which happened last night.

The children take turns saying grace at dinner each night. Whenever it is Rocky's turn, he comes up with a version, thought up on the fly, which he delivers at warp speed:


Then he launches himself into his plate. By his own admission, he just wants to get the formalities over with so he can get to the food as quickly as possible. Never mind that the "beaufulday" has been cold, with rain and hail and sleet and a tornado which caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and several deaths. He just wants to get to the chow.

We have given him a printed prayer to use. He butchers it to the point of hilarity. "Which we are about to receive from your bounty" becomes "which we are about to receive wrapped in Bounty."

It does little to honor the solemnity of the occasion when the girls are falling out of their chairs in hysterics.

We have talked to him about keeping this simple, settling for something shorter from the heart, and asking him during other times of the day what he is thankful for. He can't answer that. We also talk about the option of asking for blessings for others who aren't as fortunate. Consequently, again to be efficient, I guess, he comes up with things like, "I am thankful that we don't live in an area where men come into our house with machine guns and kill us. And the rabbits." I guess these men are dog lovers. Or, "I am thankful that we don't have horrible diseases and we're not color blind." Or, my all-time favorite, "I am thankful that the pool didn't get destroyed by a hurricane today." (It was seventy five degrees, sunny and clear, we live in Ohio, and there were no hurricanes in the weather forecast anywhere.)

So I have been looking at prayers for little children. I am hoping that Rocky won't be forty and still reciting, "God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Amen." However, I did stress simplicity, and if that is the grace which is from his heart, then that is all I can ask.

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