Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It doesn't make much sense without Him

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!

13 comments:

  1. Amen cuz it really doesn't make any sense without Him! Blessings on you and yours...

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  2. amen and amen! I love this post Lisa...I need to read this again!

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  3. AMEN!!
    As we just put up our tree today and got caught up in a lot of the hub bub, your post was a WONDERFUL reminder! Thanks. :)

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  4. Wow you spoke that so beautifully. Thank you for sharing - your right - it is all about Him! I have struggled this Christmas w/ contentment over material things, so I needed to see this. thank you!

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  5. If you don't have it already, you must get the book "If You're Missing Baby Jesus" (I'm afraid I am forgetting the author right now. It is a lovely story with the opposite dilemma as yours and what the family does about it. I won't spoil it. Just get it!

    Oh, I popped over from Joy's site.

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  6. I hear you! Before this Christmas season arrived my hubby and I discussed changing how we celebrate this year. It's been crazy busy over the years and we wanted it all to stop so we could focus on Him. We've done that this year and it's sooooo great. It really is.

    Oh and shopping? ONLINE SHOPPING IS AWESOME! It comes right to my door and I was done MOST of it with 2 online purchases. Can't beat that.

    ((HUGS))

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  7. You took thew words right out of my mouth....I was just thinking some of these same things!!!

    I can easily get caught up in the materialism aspects of the Christmas season....the distractions of this world are great. But, I must remember that because of our sin, Christ was born in a dirty lowly stable...to later die a cruel death for me. For us...I am awestruck. No lights of Christmas can out shine His light...the light of the world.

    This may need to be a post....Ha! You have inspired me.

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  8. So right on the mark my friend! Great post!

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  9. I am so enjoying this Christmas season as we have completely simplified everything. I didn't put out every decoration and tried to be as organized as I could possibly be before Dec. 1. For the first time our family has had a special time each night to celebrate Advent and talk about the true meaning of Christmas. I will definitely never go back to the old way, this is soooo much better.

    Blessings,
    Julie

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  10. Oh Lisa, this post just perfectly describes what I have been struggling with. I have done a better job this year at trying to include things that really make us focus on what Christmas is about, but not at taking away the stress. Each year I say I am going to find a way to have a stress free Christmas and it never happens. Even the things we do to attempt to glorify God this time of year can make us too frazzled to actually do so.

    Anyway, I linked this post in my post today. Thanks for writing it.

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  11. So very true, with out Him it's just another holiday. Because of Him we have Hope, the noun not the verb.

    my blog: http://akhmmm.wordpress.com

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  12. You took thew words right out of my mouth....I was just thinking some of these same things!!!

    I can easily get caught up in the materialism aspects of the Christmas season....the distractions of this world are great. But, I must remember that because of our sin, Christ was born in a dirty lowly stable...to later die a cruel death for me. For us...I am awestruck. No lights of Christmas can out shine His light...the light of the world.

    This may need to be a post....Ha! You have inspired me.

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  13. amen and amen! I love this post Lisa...I need to read this again!

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