“What is your Christmas?” I was just asked that question the other day from my good friend Debi. I kinda looked at her a little puzzled but, then she proceeded to tell me that she has been making Christmas cookies all day and was going to decorate them later that evening. Debi said, that once she makes her cookies, then that nostalgia feeling of Christmas has arrived within her. She also told me how different it is now that the children are all grown up and gone.
Debi throughout the years has always made the “Christmas cookies” with her children but now that the kids live either out of state or hours away, it is just her and her lovely husband rolling them out. Baking these cookies and smelling their sweet scent filling the empty nest, brings back the greatest memories for her to reflect back on and smile but, you could see the longing for her children to be in that kitchen with her as little kiddo’s once more.
This question really made me think. What is my Christmas? What is that moment, food or song that fills my heart with the feeling of Christmas? You would think this would be easy to answer, but all my answers sounded so cliché; baking, making a ginger bread house, shopping, wrapping presents, hearing the traditional songs and watching all the old classic Christmas movies. Yes, these are all things we do and have to get done but, none of these actions were “it” for me. Even listing all these actions sound “busy” & “loud.” Of course, it’s the birth of Christ for me and Debi that fills and lives within our hearts.
Don’t get me wrong, spending time with my family was one of my top answers that was quickly rolling off my tongue before it dawned on me what my answer truly is. And actually, Kent and I just discussed this the other night, even before Debi asked me the initial question. My answer is; sitting on the couch after the boys are in bed, and the house is quiet and all the lights are off and the only light is coming from the Christmas tree. There is something calm and peaceful about this moment for me. I sit and stare at all the old, new and the most precious homemade ornaments and get misty eyed thinking its been another whole year. Once I get my first evening in with the Christmas tree then I feel as if Christmas has arrived.
I can guarantee the original tree that Christ was hung on nearly 2 thousand years ago never was decorated with light and ornaments. (Or was His manger for that matter) Looking at my tree while it’s quiet and calm in my household, makes me think that the lights on my tree represents that God sent Christ as a Savior to be the Light of the world. He’s my light!
As you look at the Christmas tree this year I hope that it reminds you of the obedience Jesus had to honoring the Father even to the point of placing His life on the original Christmas tree…the cross.
I recently just read this story:
The story is told of a mother who is decorating the Christmas tree and nearby is her teenage daughter. The mother says “I still have a lot of decorating to do here, I don’t know how I will get it all done.
The daughter replies
“Well, I can help…if I don’t have to go visit Uncle Jim with you.”
The mother responds
“Nice try, but your going!”
The daughter says
“But mom why do I have to go there?”
“There are murderers there and people who beat their wives and all sorts of people.”
The daughter then picks up an ornament and notices it’s broken.
She sighs with sadness and disappointment over it being broken.
The mother comes over to the daughter and observes the broken ornament. She shares with her daughter how special the ornament is and that her father had made it when she was only six years old.
The mother additionally shares that this was Uncle Jim’s favorite ornament.
When he was a little boy he would take it from the tree and hold it and enjoy it so much.
The mother then looks at the ornament and then at the daughter and says
“You, know this ornament reminds me of your Uncle Jim. He is broken, just like this ornament.”
“Uncle Jim is precious to God because God made him.”
Then the mother smiles and says
“God can fix Uncle Jim’s brokeness.”
She hugs her daughter and says
“we can fix this ornament.”
The daughter says
“Yes, mom let’s do that and as soon as we are done let’s go visit Uncle Jim together.”
Do you know anyone… whose life is broken…like that precious ornament? I know that I have been broken a few times throughout my life. And, I have constantly been in need of repair. Aren’t you grateful for Jesus and that original Christmas tree that brings restoration to broken lives? I certainly am! I couldn’t live in the freedom without it.
Every one of us has been a broken ornament at some time. A precious ornament of God’s creation, yet broken because of our sin. I will rejoice this Christmas because of Christ on the original Christmas tree that we are no longer broken. God restores us through Jesus Christ.
The greatest and first tree used was the wooden cradle to hold our Savior born as a baby. Then to the greatest tree used, “The Cross”. Let us not forget as we reflect on another Christmas season.
Thank you Lord for the original Christmas tree….the cross.