The baggage that we carry around with us keeps us from living life fully and being the people that God wants us to be. The end of the year is upon us; a good time to let go of resentments, self-judgment, hatred, animosity and anything else that is weighing us down and wearing us out!
(press play button to listen to the sermon)
THIS IS THE VIDEO THAT WAS SHOWN BEFORE THE SERMON
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
My mother didn’t believe in toys,
felt they were frills we couldn’t afford anyway.
I don’t remember ever being given a doll
or any other toy. We had paper dolls, one
or two books of them, and games—cards,
dominoes, Monopoly because we could play
these together: my mother wanted us
to be friends, to stay on our front stoop
where she could keep her eye on us,
but Christmas presents in our house were white cotton
underpants, undershirts, socks. She didn’t intend
to be cruel. In Italy, by the time she was seven,
she was cooking for the family—all nine
of them—cleaning the house,
tending the chickens and pigs.
Children had to grow up, no time to waste
on toys, but she wanted us to be happy.
Sometimes when she went downtown
to pay five dollars a week on time
for our refrigerator, she’d bring us a box
of imitation M&M’s from Kresge’s.
They came in a clear plastic box, bright colors
shining through. We’d try to make them last
because, when they were gone, a new box
might not appear for a month or even two.
We used the boxes as couches for our paper
dolls or runways for pretend cars
made of empty spools of thread,
and we’d make up stories, lying
on the floor between the wall
and the bed. I think of my own children,
how I nearly drowned them in presents
at Christmas: GI Joe and Barbie, tanks
and trucks and Legos and blocks, Barbie’s
Dream House and Barbie’s Convertible,
Barbie’s Shore House and Ken,
as though the child that still lives inside me
could fill those Christmas mornings
with more than plain white underwear.