It is that time of the year. Boxes long stored away are pulled out of storage ready for their contents to deck the halls for Christmas. The tree is up and its branches ready to be laden with treasured ornaments. Each ornament placed on the tree evokes a memory of all the Christmas’ that have taken place through my years.
The real tree has been replaced by an artificial one but as I place the pole, yes, a pole not a trunk, I remember picking out trees at my Uncle Bill’s gas station. He always sold trees. We always seemed to pick the tree that had the proverbial hole, you know the one where no branches grew. It was turned to the back of the wall and covered with tinsel. In our house the tree stood with nothing on it – just waiting for Santa to decorate it and put presents under the tree. Every Christmas morning there it was arrayed in splendor. The most beautiful tree ever. Later we were told that Santa had so many trees to decorate since we were older we could help, and we did.
Laughter, squeals of joy float through my memory of Christmas’ with my kids. Waiting for them to fall asleep so we, or I should say me, could begin my gift wrapping. I still can’t remember why I thought every stocking stuffer needed to be wrapped. A special dinner, cookies everywhere and Christmas cards placed just so. The children’s program at church, the choir cantata and snow, lots of snow. (The real stuff)
The kids are now adults with families of their own and traditions they have made for their families. I still remember the traditions of things that had to be done just a certain way.
To say that Christmas is different now is true. We traded snow for palm trees adorned with festive lights. We walk outside in bare feet to get the paper to see all the special ads calling us to buy endless things we don’t need. The decorations are up, and the tree is in place while the memories have been rehearsed in my mind. There are not as many decorations this year because I have run out of energy. The cookie count seems to get smaller each year and the variety is scaled down.
Grandpa and I will spend a quiet Christmas and sleep in. (No little ones to wake us.) We have grown old together and each Christmas that we share becomes special.
One day I will spend Christmas with the reason for the season. I will transition from earthly life to everlasting life with Jesus Christ in my heavenly home. I will be able to do this because” God wrapped divinity in humanity, laid him in a manger only to hang on a cross to forgive me of my sins.” (Z. Dodd)
This Christmas I am reminded that Jesus Christ is the best present given, past, present and future.