For our first Christmas tree the first year we were married, my husband and I went to tree farm and he showed off his manly manliness for his bride by single handedly cutting down the tree carefully chosen after much (much!) deliberation. We hauled it up to our second floor apartment and proudly strung lights and hung ornaments.
I think that was the first and last year my husband helped with any sort of Christmas decorating. But I'm okay with that. Really. I am. Actually, I'm ready to give it up myself and probably would if it weren't for my children, my two youngest especially.
We had precious few Christmas items, my husband and I, that first year we were married. Oh, we had several ornaments for our tree, my mom saving and adding to a collection of ornaments from the time I was a little girl. For that first Christmas, I purchased a white nativity set at a local craft show. I eagerly unpacked each piece, carefully placing it in just the right spot in the center of our kitchen table. We had no other piece of furniture on which to place it! Mary, Joseph, the shepherd, the angel, the three wise men, the camels, the donkey, the sheep, all took their respective places in the Christmas tableau. That is, except for the baby Jesus. He was missing. Absent. Nowhere in the box. AWOL.
Fortunately, the box had a sticker on its side containing the name and contact information for the seller. I called her and described my dilemma and she laughed and said, "It doesn't really make much sense without Him, does it?" She promptly sent me a baby Jesus figurine.
I thought about her comment this week as Christmas decorations and boxes and wreaths and other Christmas debris littered my den and dining room in a feeble attempt at decorating. I thought to myself, "and THIS is Christmas?"
I thought about her comment this week as I've hurried and scurried and rushed all over town to shop, shop, shop and spend, spend, spend, asking myself "and THIS is Christmas?"
Today I stood in (yet another) line, and commiserated with another mom as we complained of the frenzy and busyness that marks Christmas, both of us confessing we hate it and how relieved we are when it's over already. "and THIS is Christmas?"
It doesn't make much sense without Him, does it?
May my celebration of Christmas be marked by a sense of gratitude and awe. May I remember, and be thankful to God for His indescribable gift. May I forgo the false gods of materialism and perfectionism and consumerism and instead worship the Only One worthy. May I rejoice, not in shopping or decorating, but that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. Let's behold His glory this Christmas season...and beyond!