It’s time to pull down the Christmas boxes, haul the fake tree into the living room, line the windows with colorful lights, and decorate the tree. Can you tell I’m not excited about what’s ahead? Lord, it seems like a lot of work to me. At this stage of life I’d be satisfied with the tabletop tree we put in the kitchen window. The tiny ornaments and winking lights are just right for me. I can put together the whole ensemble and pack it up after Christmas in ten minutes. But it’s not enough for my husband. He’s a Christmas ‘freak’ as he refers to himself. He loves draping garland around the china cabinet, placing berries and colored balls in flower vases, and hanging our stockings with care from the knobs on our entertainment center.
Most of all he enjoys placing the little Santa face light bulb front and center on the tree—just below the small wooden crèche. It doesn’t light up anymore but it did a long time ago when he was a boy in his parents’ home. It’s the last remnant of those Christmases past. When we move on from our earthly home, he hopes one of our kids will pick up the little Santa and carry on the tradition. I’m not sure that will happen. They have families of their own now and are creating customs they hope their children will remember. And so it goes—one generation after another celebrating Christmas in its own way. But most important, Lord, is the tie that binds all of us together––your birth. We may deck our halls with boughs of holly, but we proclaim in song and story the coming of Jesus Christ, the one tradition we will never minimize.