Lessons and Carols

And so we come to the Christmas season.

For many it’s a time of buying and receiving presents, for last minute shopping, for stocking the house with enough food to last through a blizzard.

For my kids (21 and 24) their presents come care of Oxfam Unwrapped and Kiva.org. Both are causes we think are worthwhile and are ones where we are thinking of others less fortunate than ourselves. We have no need of gadgets and presents – we have enough of them – oh, we might WANT more but we sure don’t need them.

We spend Christmas Day with just us – Jon, Emma, and me. Both are working now and will work up to and after Christmas so it’s a day of rest for them both. We’ll watch favorite videos, and play family games, and yes, we’ll do a bit of eating too. But it’s also a time to remember family who are no longer with us: Dad – who died in September 1987; Mum – who died in January 2006; and my nephew Mark who died much too young.

At mum’s funeral I spoke about the ‘lessons’ I’d learnt from her:

  • You’re never too old to do something new
  • Always try to do the thing or things you’re passionate about
  • Don’t give up just because things seem impossible
  • You don’t have to be young or a male to influence other people
  • People aren’t important because of possessions or money, they’re important because they’re people
  • Music is a universal language – you don’t have to understand the words to feel the emotion
  • You don’t have to stop working just because the government says it’s time for you to stop
  • Even if you can’t travel you don’t have to remain ignorant of other peoples and cultures
  • You can’t judge something you have no experience of
  • Rules made by men are not necessarily the same as what God would say
  • You’re never too old to be a rebel
My mum was a true inspiration to me – and I take heart in what she set out to accomplish later in life – she didn’t see anything unusual in gaining her Bachelor’s degree at the age of 62! And boy what a rebel she was!!
My personal faith has taken a beating over the last ~10 years – but there are some things I still hold dear. My favorite carol is O Holy Night – here is a version that I think you’ll enjoy.

3 thoughts on “Lessons and Carols

  • December 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    What a sweet, sweet sound! Great Christmas message Jo! It sure is the people and the special memories that make the Christmas season! It is a great time to think about our blessings!

  • February 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    My name is Lacie and I am a student at the University of South Alabama and am enrolled in an education media class that requires us to maintain a blog and comment on different things. I read this sweet post about your mom and couldn’t help but smile for you. It sounds like your mother was an incredible woman who taught you many great life lessons. I’m sure you hold those memories close to your heart and I hope you always do. Merry (belated) Christmas!


  • March 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hello again!
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post about the Christmas season. I know it is now March, but it is nice to be reminded of Christmas. The “lessons learned” from your mom were so sweet. I agree with every single lesson! I think it is also important to remind our children that Christmas is a time to give and not just a time to get. Sometimes that means giving monetarily, but more importantly giving of your time and talents to others. Your post also reminded me of my mother. She is a huge fan of Celtic Woman and has even been to one of their concerts. What a beautiful song! Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts and memories. I hope that your faith may be renewed through the spirit of this song. Blessings to you and yours!

    Best wishes in all you do!
    Heather Weaver
    EDM 310 University of South Alabama

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