Breathe in, breathe out. It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I have vegetated in the recliner all morning after an early invigorating walk, staring at the harvest/Thanksgiving decorations surrounding me. It’s an hour and a half until the Iron Bowl starts, the biggest football game of the year for Alabama and Auburn fans. I have plenty of time to get my thoughts on paper for my next post.
Our focus is on what Christmas means to me. Yes, it means family, my kin by blood and my church family, connected by the blood of Jesus. I love the Christmas plays, parades, television specials—from cute cartoons to moving stories about the birth of Jesus. I dress up in Christmasy clothes and shop more than any other time of the year.
This weekend, these three or four days after Thanksgiving, however, is where it all starts for me. I live in a rural area, near a small town, so on Black Friday, my husband and I venture to WalMart, CVS, Tractor Supply, and Dollar General. The crowds aren’t bad in our area, it’s enjoyable, and we always find a few treasures.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas music plays during my shopping, and presents lie on our bedroom floor waiting to be wrapped. It’s time. A smile spreads on my face as I sit here, envisioning the decorations that will soon cover the house. Lots of snowmen because they’re my favorite. The granddaughters love to see them all, though my two children roll their eyes at the explosion of roly-poly snow people of all colors, shapes and sizes.
They all have meaning as many were gifts from friends and family, some no longer with me. Many were picked up from after Christmas on clearance tables or at summer yard sales. After a few seasons, I pass them on to others and we still have room to walk through the house. 🙂
Why? To me, Christmas is all about celebrations and decorations. Jesus was born in humble surroundings, but angels and one perfect star announced His birth. Shepherds visited him, and wise men bore precious gifts. Even in that tiny stable, Mary and Joseph must have celebrated as the presence of God visibly arrived in their world.
Did the animals surrounding them sense the Son of God? Did the innkeeper or any of
the occupants of the inn visit them, drawn by a love beyond anything they’d ever sensed before? We’ll never know on this earth. Jesus is worth celebrating and as I decorate my home and play Christmas music, I think of Him. I envision my family gatherings and sometimes tear up with thoughts of family I won’t see or loved ones gone on to heaven.
Then the decorating is done. I walk through slowly, enjoying each decorated room, savoring the old decorations and new. I eagerly await the Christmas play that Ava, my oldest granddaughter, will star in at school. Her role is Mrs. Santa Claus. Then there is the play at church where she is an angel and little Sadie Rae, a lamb. She practices her baaing constantly.
A big Christmas Eve gathering and Christmas day visits round out the holidays. Before the New Year arrives, I carefully pack everything away, where it waits for its unveiling in 2016. I give a contented sigh while I sit, sipping hot tea and typing these last words.
Celebrations and decorations.
Jesus, the reason for the season.
My family and friends.