advent, adventures, Bethlehem, Christmas tree, decorate, honor

New Year’s Eve

Advent{ures}: Let’s Go to Bethlehem

Yes, according to the church calendar it is New Year’s Eve. The eve of the new liturgical year. Tomorrow marks the First Sunday of Advent. As we enter the season, I have been grateful for this extra week of preparation.

After cleaning up from last week’s company, I have time today to decorate the house for Christmas. With our children away from home, I ran into some unexpected emotion last night. But it is not an unfamiliar meltdown, you could almost say that this reaction is a tradition.

The Christmas tree and I have a love/hate relationship. Here’s a vintage post from the archives…that tells you about my heart and God’s persistent grace.



 
 

“This is the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
(Psalm 118:23)
 
 

It was my designated time to clean the family room, and then decorate the tree, and put up other decorations. I really was hoping to not hear myself complain this year, as I went about this task. I started out well, but cleaning always takes longer than I expect. I had a bit of headache. And I just wasn’t feeling the Christmas mood, even with the carols wafting through the air. I even heard myself ask, “Whose idea was it to decorate Christmas trees anyway…grrr…?”

My oldest son, who was sitting in the other room tried to encourage me by reminding me that four years ago, we all decided that I only had to decorate as much as I wanted. His comment helped me relax, and enjoy myself. And I put a few things back in their boxes, and decided once again I didn’t have to put all the ornaments on the tree.

It’s kind of strange that I had already forgotten the inspiring answer I gave to my mother earlier in the week, when she asked a similar question:
 
“Why do we rearrange our whole house for this holiday?”
 
I immediately answered, “We’re making room for Jesus.”
 
We both were stunned for a moment at the simply profound answer that came out of my mouth. But I had spoken it to myself in years past.

This time I noticed an even more amazing parallel thought. Jesus rearranged his whole life to enter our world. He took on flesh. He humbled himself to be born in a manger. He humbled himself to die on the cross. He humbly followed and devoted himself to the Father’s plan.

Maybe the music of Christmas and the mood I long for, and the joy that eludes me are not resonating with me because I have neglected to acknowledge, that this is God’s doing.
 
Christmas is his way of reaching out to me, to all mankind. And it is indeed marvelous when I really take the time to contemplate all that it means to honor Christ in all aspects of life.

How will you decorate your life this season? What ways can we celebrate Christ in our homes and our hearts this Christmas?

Mom’s Christmas Tree 2010

4 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve”

  1. The tree is beautiful, Kel! Many years ago, when my eldest son was a young teen, he took two pieces of branches, whittled them, and tied them together with a leather string. He carved out a grove in the back and it has been my tree topper for all these years. I wouldn't ever want anything else on my tree.

  2. Oh, Kel, how I love the way the Holy Spirit speaks. I keep hearing him say, 'make big room' for Jesus. Make a space….don't fill it up.This takes an on purpose approach to the days ahead, for sure.Thanks for this reminder.

  3. Jody- I love how the Holy Spirit speaks, too…yes this is good an emptying of ourselves so He can fill us up. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

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