The holidays are upon us, and I am not feeling it yet. I try to think why that is. I have had the tree up and decorated since the week of Thanksgiving. My nativity collections have found places to be displayed around the home. I have even started to receive Christmas cards. I still have to purchase and send mine.
Now that we are in Arizona with only 9’ ceilings, our 12’ Christmas tree was donated back in Missouri. The biggest I could find was a 7.5’ tree. The next size was 9’ which would have hit the ceiling without my angel topper.
I also had to make a decision about what ornaments to add to the tree since I had a very filled 12’ tree in the past. My American flags are a given. I have two small flags stuck into the tree. The first one I received when I donated some money to help repair the Greek Orthodox Church near the site of the Twin Towers. It was damaged on 9/11, and as I gave a small cash donation at a Greek Festival in Missouri, they gave a US flag. I don’t remember where I got the 2nd one. My decision for ornaments were the “grandkid” ornaments. These are the ornaments I have bought with each grandchild in mind, and they hang on my tree until they are young adults. Then I pack them up and give them their ornaments for their tree. If you want more information on how I do that, click here. Along with those, I added ones that are about Dennis and me, or our grown children, and then of course, the many character ones I have collected from Hallmark over the
years. My “Singing Chickens” have died, and I cannot find a way to possibly repair the ornament. My Statue of Liberty ornament that plays the “National Anthem” is still alive and well.
So, the tree is decorated. The house is festive. I’m still not feeling it. Last night I purchased the ingredients for Christmas cookies, and I need to start baking in the next day or two.
I used to feel festive when the grandkids were little. I would shop for gifts that I knew they would love. Now, it’s about giving them money so they can purchase something
they wanting, or for them to save. It’s not as much fun as watching them open packages with toys, games, pajamas, and books. I really miss those days. I miss the days when my kids and grandkids would be in awe of the Christmas tree. I miss when they would search for the alligator I have hidden in the tree. Yes, there is a pickle in the tree, but the alligator was much more fun to search. I miss them searching the tree to find the new ornament that year with their name on it.
Being in Arizona will be the start of new Christmas traditions. Dennis’ son is coming in town next week and we will celebrate an early Christmas with him. The following week, the week of Christmas, my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter will be with us. My granddaughter is now 17 years old, and won’t have the same awe in the holiday that she had as a small child. On the other hand, I am super excited to have them here for the holiday. It will make our Christmas transition to Arizona a bit easier.
As I go shopping, I see “Let It Snow” decorations, and I just have to laugh. I left Missouri because I don’t want to deal with snow. Finding these many different decor items with this phrase seems so silly here in the valley of Arizona. It could snow, but even if it did, it wouldn’t be significant. The signs should say, “Let it snow in the mountains or elsewhere in the county.” I want a Christmas sign to say “Let it Shine.” That would be perfect.
I am enjoying the spiritual preparation for the holiday, because for me, that is what Christmas is really about. Was Jesus born on December 25? Most likely not, but that doesn’t matter. It’s about remembering and celebrating his coming to earth. It’s not about a babe in a manger, although that is how he came. It is about God coming to earth as man, the only suitable sacrifice to make us reconnected with the God of the universe. It’s about him preparing a way for us, living as a good example, but the purpose of coming to be a sacrifice for us. Remember the ancient Jews had to make a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, starting with Passover, when they put the blood of the lamb on the door frame. Jesus is our Passover lamb. No longer do we need a sacrifice because Jesus willingly gave himself, to take on our sin, once and for all. He died a horrible death for us. It didn’t end there. He didn’t stay dead. He came back to life, and this was witnessed by a multitude of people who saw him after his death. Christmas is just the beginning of the story. Easter is the middle of the story. The story is not over. He will come again, and then all things will be made right on earth. We will then really see “Peace on Earth.” His birth brings “Peace on Earth” in a spiritual way to individuals, his death and resurrections brings “Peace on Earth” for now and to the future, and one day, He will bring this “Peace on Earth” back for all time. Yes, I do believe that.
So, in the meantime, I celebrate Christmas in my feeble way. I will decorate my home, bake my cookies, have a special dinner, and give gifts. I will do all the trappings that our culture does for the holiday, but I know that the story is much bigger, and that gives me the Christmas spirit I wasn’t feeling a few minutes ago.
Wishing you a joyous Christmas!