You Have to Give It Away To Keep It


What’s the name of that awful Christmas song?

It has something to do with Christmas being the most wonderful time of year.

I love the idea – and the lyrics, but I think Christmas is the most stressful time of year hands down.

We grab fleeting moments of feeling love from a store shelf and hope it’s the perfect gift for someone else.

Save yourself some time and money this Christmas AND reduce your stress!!

Ask me what I want and I’ll tell you; you won’t be disappointed and I’ll love it.

It’s one of the great paradoxes of modern living.

At a time when we want to feel like we matter most, feel good will toward others and believe that peace on earth stands a chance, we add more stress to our already stressful lives.

All year long, we multi-task, multi-purpose, multi-use, multi-fit, and multi-facet every moment of our lives, but we feel less valued and more stressed.

We eat multi-grains and multi-vitamins, and mix multiple blends of cruciferous plants with multiple protein powders that substitute for whole meals, but we feel less whole and less healthy.

We eat fructose, glucose and lactose and we’re multi-racially-milk-toast-intolerant.

We text more, write less; rush more, wait less; talk more and listen less.

We drink, smoke, gamble, eat, and shop, buying more things with money that we don’t have for people that we don’t like, giving us less time to spend with people that we love.

We build multi-tiered-towers and multi-media-multiplexes at magnificent rates of speed that house myriad retail shops and multi-disciplined families with multiple degrees, who have little common sense and less focus.

We have bigger houses and more broken homes, bigger cars and crumbling infrastructures and kids who feel entitled to having more without ever having to live with less – who will be hard pressed to learn that less is more!

All I want for Christmas is what I want all year long.

To feel like I matter and know that I’m loved.

The reality about feeling like I matter is a matter of priorities and the reality about feeling loved is a matter of being loving.

Another Great Paradox

I get what I want when I give it away.

When I’m loving, I feel more love.

When I make someone else feel like they matter, I feel like I matter.

When I need a friend, I try to be a better one.

So I want you to know that I love you and that you matter, that the world is a better place with you in it and when you’re gone, it will have been a better place for having had you here.

Here’s to finding peace in our own hearts and in our own homes, so that we have more of it to give it away everyday throughout the year.

Until next time,

Cheers to your nuts roasting on the fire, Yule logs burning brightly and missile toe hanging in front of your own mirror.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, Ommmmmmmm, and Thank You Baby Jesus.





Photo Credit: Me




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19 Responses to “You Have to Give It Away To Keep It”

  1. GayDecember 29, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    Thanks for this reality check and big hugs to you!

    • MO VEARDecember 30, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      Hi Gay,

      Thanks for writing! Big hugs and lots of love back ‘atcha. Happy New Year to everyone!

  2. Maria MaganaDecember 27, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    I totally agree as do all my family, it is the most stressful time of the year, but it’s still my favorite and I do try to find some joy and wonder amid all the madness. I know I am guilty of spending too much and getting myself in a knot over all I have to do but I have decided that less is more. I don’t have to decorate every inch of the house and I don’t have to host so many events. And I do manage to find some joy in the delight of my grandchildren, in going to midnight mass and singing, “Today is born our savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.” And the smell of the Christmas tree and it’s twinkling lights. And even listening to Christmas songs on the radio when I got in my car today, and realized they would continue to play them until New Year’s Eve. In my heart even though Christmas is not all that we hope it would be, It is still the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

    • MO VEARDecember 30, 2016 at 8:43 am #

      What a great comment! Hi Maria. I love this. It’s a beautiful way to grab little glimpses of joy and revel in the idea that it really can be the most wonderful time of year! Thank you for the reminder! Have a wonderful New Year!

  3. Gloria VearDecember 25, 2016 at 2:29 am #

    Mo, that was beautiful. Exactly what we are doing. Taylor, Bud and I attended 5 PM Mass last evening. We heard it might be icy this Christmas Day. We thankfully declined all invitations of local family to share their Christmas, came home and had pizza and played a delightful game of Scrabble.
    Today we are celebrating Christ birth with the three of us. a simple meal and time to appreciate all we have been given through the years. It is time to thank God for America!
    We did give each of the kid’s families a DVD of Bud’s skits performed at the Sauk. our local Community Theatre on November 5 as a fund raiser for the now repaired collapsed ceiling last December. He was truly moved to see his creative gifts being presented to raise some of the money. They raised over $4,000. Most were just funny episodes in our past 65 years of marriage, with just a little creative writing for reality.
    A blessed Christmas to all of you.

    • MO VEARDecember 25, 2016 at 6:17 am #

      Thanks, Glo! Sounds like the perfect Christmas!
      How wonderful that Bud’s skits helped your local community theatre – and if you’ve been married 65 years, I would bet they are mostly funny!!!!! 🙂 Sending lots of love and thoughts of peace to all of you …

  4. TousDecember 24, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    So true, Mo. My Christmas wishes have changed over the years. Now I just want to spend time with the ones I love.

    This year is the first time I’ve “had access to” a three-year old during the holiday season. It’s brought back so many of the wonderful memories I have as a kid and the mystery of Santa Claus. I’ve had fun teaching him about Rudolph and the Grinch and watching him mess with every ornament that’s hanging on the tree within reach.

    And now I’m spending time with my parents and feeling grateful every day that they’re still in this world and in my life. I’ll also be spending time with people who have come into my life this year and who now have a permanent and very special place in my heart. I’ll also be spending time with dear old friends who have been in my life for years. I feel so fortunate and grateful every year, but this year is especially overwhelming.

    Mo, I’m so blessed to count you among my dear old friends (you’re not old but our wonderful friendship has existed since 1979). I love you! The world, and my life, are better with you in them.

    Thanks for such a wonderful article.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 10:23 am #

      This made me laugh and cry!!!!! Thanks, Sharon. I was so moved by your comment and your experience with a three-year old and your being able to have a free and full heart while spending the holidays with your parents. Have we really known each other since 1979? I don’t think I was born yet!!!!! LOLOLOL I think that’s the part that made me cry. Please give my best to your mom and dad. Wishing you so much joy – always!!! xoxoxox

  5. JerryDecember 23, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    You are so right. The more you give, the more you have. My inner child remembers Christmas long ago when he was so sincere about gift giving and craved that satisfying feeling of knowing his gift was loved. I guess I am lucky to have had that kind of experience. It means that nobody can ever take Christmas away from me. No matter how rocky the holiday road becomes, I always find a moment that really feels like Christmas in my heart. It may be fleeting but it is there. And it shows up like a Christmas morning surprise of the best gift ever. Yup, another Christmas time, another miracle to open my heart and renew that feeling of the joy of The Glad Tidings. Thanks for reminding me. Wishing that you and yours discover your own little miracles of the season.

    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      What a great way to look at it, Jerry. You’re right. I love that no one can take that experience away from you. Thank you so much for sharing that – I’m going to hang on to it and look for those moments of love that are always findable to me and mindful of them; Christmas-spirit moments… (Your comment is similar to another subscriber who commented – GT) Wishing you and Dennis, moments of wonder and joy that renew your heart – and mine. Thank you for being here.

  6. RoxanneDecember 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    so very true my friend!! This is fabulous????

    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks, Rox. I appreciate those kind words and your commenting here. 🙂 I hope you all have a great holiday and that wonderful things are in store for you in the new year. As always, wishing you much peace…

  7. MhawksDecember 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    <3 Merry Christmas, Mo!*****

    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 10:03 am #

      Merry Christmas to you sweet, Sis-Star. Thank you for reading!!!!! xoxoxo

  8. GTDecember 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

    Hi Mo, I really look forward to these Friday afternoons when I anticipate seeing a “thinking grenade” being lobbed over my distraction wall.

    I can only imagine that Christmas is significantly stressful for parents. Most of us will recall hearing or even saying that “Christmas is for the children.” There is a reality in that. The parents, especially moms, endeavor to provide a memorable holiday for the kids. This requires an upshift in effort: gifts, food, visitors, decorations and can we somehow not forget the Incarnation we are celebrating?

    Yet, deep down, I think we recognize that Christmas is not just for the children. Rather it is for the childlike. Jesus pointed to the children as possessing the Kingdom which resides within us. But access to the Kingdom is not denied to adults. It’s just that we must establish or restablish those great gifts of childhood: a sense of wonder, an acceptance of mystery,
    trust, and ever hopeful optimism. Because he had these qualities as an adult, it is not surprising that Francis of Assisi thought to display the first Nativity portrayal; with real shepherds, real animals, real people and, no doubt, with someone’s borrowed baby.

    joy to the world and peace,

    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      And I eagerly await your lob back – your description of my thinking grenade conjures up an image of my brain working overtime on scrambling and jumbling the irritating puzzles in my head, and like a hot potato I finally toss it over. Anyway, your comment made laugh out loud.

      Your comment about recognizing deep down that Christmas is not just for children, also got me thinking – darn it.

      I’ve secretly harbored being able to enjoy how I feel on the inside at Christmas – with the same sense of wonder and curiosity I feel about most everything, but I’ve become more cynical in recent years wondering why we forget about good will after the holidays are over. It makes me sad. Like when tragedies bring out the best in most of us, and then we forget. I understand its dissipation, but why does that feeling of good will have to disappear so completely?

      Your serve. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful insights. They are most appreciated.

    • JerryDecember 24, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      Where’s the like button? Nicely stated.

  9. AndrewDecember 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I love you and you matter immensely! Thanks for sharing.

    • MO VEARDecember 24, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      Feelings are mutual. 🙂

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