So here I am sitting in my living room which has not one single Christmas decoration up and which looks like it would on any given day of the year. WHAT!?! No decorations!!! Why?!? How many people think this way when people don't "do" Christmas? There are a ton of you out there and I think I heard from half of you. Probably some of you would have come over and decorated for me if I lived closer to you just so we would "have" Christmas here. My question is why do we bother really? Decorations, presents and all that don't "make Christmas for us, or do they?
There were a whole bunch of things that made not decorating for the holiday a good idea. This is not to say I found it easy...it was not easy. My really wanted the clean house with the beautiful decorations. Lights in all the windows and out on the fence and house, the fresh fir tree all decked out and the piano bedecked with candles and my beloved hillybilly Christmas bear family on display. I wanted it all up really...I just love decorating for Christmas.
There were just too many things getting in the way of it happening this year so it didn't matter how much I wanted "it","it" was not going to happen. My husband's use our home as his workshop tends to take over our home which was the biggest hurdle we'd have to overcome before decorating. Then there was the new-used entertainment center we were given a week ago that sat askew out into the middle of the living room all week long awaiting the cleaning and installation of the electronics that would reside in it. That kinda put a crimp on things too but the "why" we didn't decorate is not really what this is about here.
All week long I was getting wrapped up in the hope that we might decorate and found myself pretty much suffocating in the reality that it just wasn't going to happen this year. I could not find the strength in this hobbled body of mine to accomplish what needed done and most of it was for Ben to take care of really. This left me staring vain desire right in the eye which which fueled a battle within me that started out as a simmer and finally came to a rolling boil.
I kept telling myself it didn't matter really, that I would survive, which I knew I would...but I wanted "Christmas" here! What is Christmas after all if its not decorations and big family meals and all the presents? I finally got so frustrated in order to not just explode I set about accomplishing a white tornado clean-up/rearrangement job on our living room which I should not have been doing by myself but found quite cathartic. As the pent up energy inside me was focused into the physicality of the job, my frustration melted away. At its completion as I collapsed in my chair I didn't care if we didn't have a tree, lights or presents..I was so glad to have the living room clean and freshly arranged and oh I almost forgot!...While I finished playing the white tornado, Ben finished and put into place our entertainment center.
As I look around today I realize we did get presents...they came in some rather unusual ways and from people who were passing them along. The entertainment center passed along by a friend last week and newly installed, a printer/scanner that we actually need give to us by another friend just yesterday. On top of these were a couple of unexpected blessing from our neighbors and friends. The card from our Vietnamese neighbors who moved in this past summer..."Merry Christmas" sign left at our front porch by the sweet folks at my new church, the little houseplant delivered a couple nights ago in the cold rain by our neighbor down the street and the his&hers watch set, a gift from our young neighbors next door Alex and Irina and their little son AJ. The gift of not having to put away Christmas decorations too. So we may not have had the most traditional Christmas ever...but it is still Christmas...with absolutely no decorations.
Finally, as I watched the sunrise this morning I took a good long moment to thank God for the many blessings we have been given, remembering those imprisoned for their faith, those serving our country and all of the families awaiting their safe return. Then taking time to thank Him for the gift that most freely given yet infrequently received. Given by the one born to live to die that we might be with Him in heaven. This is the only true gift of this season. No lights, no tree, no gathering of loved ones or other presents before or after will meet its worth. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...He died that we might live...His life for ours...the greatest gift. Thank you Lord Jesus for your priceless gift, the gift of salvation, the gift of Your life.
Merry Christmas Everyone. May God bless you, everyone.