If you are a regular reader of this blog, (thank you, Mom) then you may remember that I put my Christmas tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving, rather than our traditional weekend after. I just felt like we needed Christmas a little early this year. Well, I took the tree and the other Christmas décor down yesterday. I was ready for it to go, but as usual, taking down the holiday decorations made me a little melancholy. This unfortunate feeling grows stronger with each ornament I wrap up and pack away.
It’s like I am packing away baby Jesus for another year. All the holiday joy, and celebration gets packed away with the stockings, tree, and nativity set until next Thanksgiving. It’s as if I am ready for normal and usual again. That, and we are all tired of pulling our new kitten out of the Christmas tree. Thanks to his curiosity and playfulness, I have a few less ornaments to pack back up…
Still, I enjoy the wonderful thoughts and feelings of the Christmas season. There’s no better time to think about how Jesus left the comfort of heaven and came to be born to save us than during the holiday season.
But as the boxes all get carried back up to the attic, I am a little sad. I sit and wonder how I can hold onto the feelings while the décor goes back in storage. I don’t want the wonderful spirit of gratitude I have to go away. I don’t want to forget the prophecies that were fulfilled on that night so long ago in Bethlehem, nor the sense of expectation and hopefulness that surrounded that time.
Each year at this time, we tend to slide right from Christmas and into New Year’s without missing a beat. Away goes the Babe in a manger and out comes Baby New Year. It’s hard to continue appreciating that star filled night long ago, when I’m faced with another New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Silent Night and Joy to the World fade away into Old Lang Syne, confetti poppers, and New Year’s resolutions that probably won’t last.
There must be a way to hold on to the special feelings that come at Christmas time. I am convinced we don’t have to pack them away like so many ornaments. The knowledge that Jesus willingly left his heavenly home to come and be born as a lowly baby so that he would one day pay the price for our sin, should live in our hearts and minds all year long. I am convinced that it can. I’m going to try harder than ever this year to hold onto these warm feelings of love and peace this Christmas brought me.
I do want to celebrate the year ahead and, as usual, I will have a few New Year’s resolutions. Holding onto an attitude of gratefulness and joy will be one of them. I have others, but none will benefit me as much as this one.