Last year we had a 9 foot tall fragrant pine tree in the house. While listening to our old family Alabama CD, "Christmas" we decorated its branches. It was so tall Joel went up on the landing in order to get our angel placed on top where she has proclaimed "Christ is born" for the past 40 years.
This year we are just using our 2 feet high tree which smells like, well, plastic I guess. A much smaller angel tops the tree. We just have not felt any big desire to go out and get a tree, get it into the stand and decorate it. We had plans to do so, but after I had the house all decked out with Christmas decorations and our little angel tree was up, it felt done. Our desire for a big corner tree never did come to life, so we are enjoying the sparkling lights of our little tree covered with angel ornaments. It makes us smile.
Once upon a time our home was filled with the feet of little ones....8 kids all total, for a few years. For Christmas one year we had just moved across the state of MN so we invited family and ended up with 32 of us sleeping at our house. Joel's parents came down for dinner and so we fed 34 that day. We also forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pies that year.....giggle........Add to that the fact that no heat was going into the newly finished basement.......we did not realize it until later. I guess while the guys were watching the football game on our small 19 inch TV in the basement family room my brother Todd asked someone...'What is the wind chill down here??" Yeah, it was cold! Traveling "the long road to nowhere" as my other brother, Dickie, described our location, no sugar in the pie, 34 people using 2 bathrooms, and wind chills in the house ~ Even with all that I remember it being fun. Granted, that was our last extended family Christmas in that location but our memories of that time make us smile.
Our Christmases are quieter now. Last year 4 of 5 families came home for the actual holiday and we enjoyed that....although that is not the norm for us. This year Joel and I will go to Christmas Eve services and he may preach Christmas Day an hour south of us. We always have a mini version of our family Christmas dinner and gift openings still take place~ one opened at night and the rest in the morning. Stepping out of tradition, we may go with friends to a movie in the afternoon. We don't usually go to movie theaters at all, so this would be unusual.
Traditions. We all have them. They bring us comfort and familiarity in a world that is always changing. And yet sometimes we need to step out of the box and experience something new. A little of the old......a little of the new. Traditions and change joining together.
Memories of Christmases past.......we all have those too, and I hope and pray yours make you smile.
We continue to make memories even when our nest is empty and the house is quiet on Christmas morn. We hold tight to old memories and we intentionally make new ones.
At the center of it all.....is Jesus. Little baby boy King, born in a manger, come to save us from ourselves. Always our need to gaze on Jesus...........
I love to listen to Pentatonix sing "Mary Did You Know...." I hope you do too, as we remember the reason behind the gift buying, card writing, cookie baking, tree decorating, programs performed and attended......the reason for this season.....Jesus.