December 18, 2013

Christmas is about giving from the heart

Ready or not, here it comes — Christmas is just one week from today.

It has always struck me as curious that we know Christmas will come every year but we try to push prep time into the last few weeks and days before Dec. 25.

Shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, travel preparations all become a challenge that adds to the stress we already have.

When I read the Bible story of the birth of Christ, the only “haste” is the shepherds who were told by the angels of the birth. It was unusual for shepherds to rush, being used to waiting for the sheep to graze.

I wish I were more like my ancestors. By necessity, they worked on gifts all year long.

During a recent genealogy search, I learned that in the late 1890s sheep were raised on the home farm in Westville where I was born. The agricultural census said 10 pairs of mittens and 20 pairs of socks were knit that year from their wool. I prefer to think they were for gifts.

Our Christmas presents have changed dramatically, but there are the faithful who still make gifts by hand. My niece, Leslie Anne, gives gifts she has made, whether it be a painting, jewelry or some other creation. I am in awe of her dedication.

Some of the nicest gifts I have received came from hands that cared enough to put in the time. From our grandson Joshua, a handmade chalkboard; grandson Toby, a shelf with the emblem of a punk rock band burned into it (the emblem is inconsequential).

My son Todd, a perfectionist when it comes to carpentry, fashioned white birch and twig frames for my Adirondack-themed living room last Christmas. They hold photos that I took at Loon Lake and are one of my prized possessions.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time