Friday, December 9, 2011

That Damn Little Drummer Boy!

The Little Drummer Boy was always one of my least favorite carols. We all sang it in elementary school. Over and Over we sang it. I remember singing Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum hundreds of times by force and then having that damn song in my head for hours.

As an adult, I turned the radio station when the song played or fast forwarded it on my Christmas CD. Its not that I didn't like it but rather...wait. No. I didn't like it. I found it annoying. The lyrics were simple but that chorus drove me nuts and although my elementary memories of standing on stage wearing a huge paper Christmas bow around my neck along with all the kids was a positive one, I was over it. I didn't want to be Pa Rum Pum Pum Pumming all day. I felt like the songs about Santa and snow and the manger and rocking around the tree were not only more fun but more meaningful at Christmastime.

And then something happened. Something changed. I changed.

It was a year ago. I had endured a mystery medical crisis a few months prior and was recovering. And Brian was in a serious one himself, his much scarier, much more severe, and so full of unknowns. We felt lost. We felt frustrated. We were overwhelmed. We had incurred quite a bit of credit card debt with medical bills and travel expenses because Brian was going back and forth to Iowa to see a specialist. We were trying so hard to find the Christmas spirit and be filled with love and adoration and gratitude ( as we really did feel blessed by the amount of support we were receiving) but we were tired and weary and the idea of buying Christmas gifts and how we would afford them and how we would make it special for our family AND try and get Brian healthy in the middle seemed like a lot to manage.

And then I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers and mommy mentors, JillSavage. She's the author of a book Living with Less, So your Family has More. Simplify. Go without. Save. Bargain Hunt. Create Memories, not create clutter. Re-prioritize. If your focus is the kids and their future and raising them to be loving, kind humans, don't worry about buying the perfect gift for a friend. Worry about making sure you tell that friend you care for them. Offer to help with something. Give them a hug. Be like the Little Drummer Boy.

Huh? What did she say? That friggin' little drummer boy that got stuck in my head for days and annoyed the crap out me? Not that guy. No way. But sure enough...she challenged us to listen to the words of the song. Really listen. Relate. Act. Give.

So I did.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum

A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the King,

pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum

I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum

That's fit to give the King,

pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,

On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum

The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for Him,

pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me,

pa rum pum pum pum

Me and my drum.

And I was moved to tears...literally. I sat in front of my computer one late night, taking a break from worrying about getting it all done and making it all pretty. I read the words. And for the first time in my life I understood that little guy. Tears streamed down my face and I too began to relate to him.

I was feeling unworthy. Not good enough. Wanting to please everyone and not feeling like I had the "right" things to give. Feeling overwelmed that our family wasn't healthy, our finances were tight, and everyone wanted something.

But I realized as I imagined a sweet little boy meeting Baby Jesus for the first time that we were not too different. I pictured him wanting so bad to give some THING as a gift. The lay it before Jesus to honor him and feeling sad that he couldn't. And then realizing that what he had was enough. Giving of himself. Looking inside himself and seeing what gifts God gave him and sharing those. For him, it was playing a drum. For me...perhaps its baking or making a meal for a family in need. Maybe calling a friend and asking how they are or hugging a person at church alittle longer because I know they needed it.

While I fought internally with providing gifts that others would love, I really was able to take a step back and realize that whatever I chose. Whatever I gave would be enough. It had to be. And the people receiving it would understand.

This has been an incredible year. Filled with lots of highs and lots of lows. With the help of Dave Ramsey, we've paid of thousands of dollars of debt and saved thousands of dollars- in only 10 months. We realize more than ever that "stuff" doesn't matter at all and our values run very deep and the morals we are trying to instil in our children need to be shown, not just spoken of.

So, when the drummer boy pops into my head, I hum. I still find it annoying when its in my head HOURS later but I'm OK with it. The kids have heard the story of The Little Drummer. We've asked how they can give of themselves to others. We've brainstormed. We've talked about how great it feels to give and love,without receiving anything in return-just like Jesus ( and even Santa).

This year is our Christmas from the Heart...our self titled theme. Everything we are giving this year is either homemade or home inspired. Its experiences and opportunities for memories. We've discovered that homemade or from the heart is not necessarily cheaper and definately not easier. But for us, its worth it. We want to give of ourselves. Share our talents. Share our love. And be sure the people we love and care for the most feel it and know it.

We live with less occassionally so our family can have more.

I no longer turn the radio station when the song comes on but rather turn up the volume. And listen. And pa rum pum pum all over the house. I know I am worthy. I know I am enough. I know those who love me and those who know me will feel it this Christmas and every other day.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Damn drummer boy has me tearing up at work...I mean on my break! good post, Baby!