Christmas-time is here.
I have to admit--it's one of my favorite times of the year. This year, however, is interesting in my house... I actually have the TIME to decorate, but I don't feel like doing it. I've got my tree up with some lights and ornaments, stockings are hung, and a few Christmasy signs have replaced what normally hangs on my wall. That's it, though... And that might STAY it.
I'm OK with that. This year feels less about the decorations and ornaments and more about pressing in to the presence of God. I've prayed more this month than I've ever prayed in my life. I've had fun opportunities to serve Jesus in very practical ways. I've slowed down on LIFE a bit.
It's good. It's really good.
The ornaments on my tree, for the most part, are ones that mean something to me. I see gifts from family on there. The little book about the Christmas teddy bear I used to read every year as a kid. A gondolier whose arms and legs flap around when you pull the string; a gift from when my parents went to Italy. Baby's First Christmas (that'd be mine!). A red knitted/beaded ball my little sister made. Gifts from other siblings. And the light hits a ceramic Santa face at just the right angel, I could swear he's smiling at me. That's one that I made for my grandma, the collector of all things Santa, before she passed away... Six years and one week ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long.
Simple is good this Christmas. When I look at my tree, I feel LOVE. And that's the reason we're celebrating, anyway... isn't it? Because God so LOVED the world that He sent us Jesus? Jesus' first Christmas wasn't decorated either. His only fancy light was a bright star heralding His arrival. His only soundtrack was what the angels declared to the shepherds.
So this year, as I'm celebrating a simple Christmas, filled with love (and laughter, and a bit of Les Miserables!)... I'm even more thankful for the very first, very best Christmas gift. Let's all pause... and give thanks.