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December is here and my “year-end” planning has begun! Tying up loose ends, planning posts for the month, and looking ahead for things I can improve in 2021.
Per tradition, I’ve always had a theme in mind for the posts that I share in December. It makes it easier to plan and write content that’s fun and Christmas-y this time of the year. I’ve shared about our favorite movies and snacks, lessons from Buddy and Chippy, and shared about Christmases past.
This year I thought that I’d do something a little different. I’ve picked three of our family’s biggest Christmas traditions that I want to share with you… I’ll share a little about the tradition, the ways that it’s changed as we’ve gotten older, and a little Biblical reminder or encouragement pertaining to that tradition.
I thought it best to start at the very beginning. The Christmas decorating!
Decorating has always been a big deal in our house. We used to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate until Dad or Mom (I can’t remember which) decided that it would make life A LOT EASIER and let us enjoy the decorations longer if we decorated before Thanksgiving especially since we either traveled or had family in town. The stipulation was that the decorations could be up but lights had to stay off until after Thanksgiving Dinner.
We’d always BLAST the Christmas music, clean the house and decorate. Usually, we decorated the main living areas and added a few decorative lights to our bedrooms. Once the movie “Elf” came out we’d watch it while putting the tree up.
In 2016 we moved to our homestead…
We moved the Monday before Thanksgiving that year and we didn’t have a functional kitchen for Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving Dinner took place on the day after with my Mom’s family. But given just a couple of weeks, we had the majority of the house unpacked and the main living area decorated for Christmas. Looking back, I have NO IDEA how we pulled that off. I will say that that year we hardly stayed awake during the Christmas movies. We’d put one in and one by one we’d all nod off and wake up at the end.
As we’ve lived here longer we’ve had to add some Christmas decorations here and there so that every room (including the bathrooms) has a little bit of Christmas cheer.
Now, instead of Mom pulling decorations out of a box and telling us where to put them we all take a section, room, or items and work together to decorate. This year I helped place the nick-knacks, and JoJo flooffed the trees. Bradley has always had a fascination with Christmas lights. So he and Dad put up most of the outdoor lights and he always puts the lights on the “big” Christmas tree. And we’re all responsible for decorating our rooms/my office area/the sitting-room. Usually a small tree and some nick-knacks.
This year we decided to add more outdoor lights a few more around the front of the house and of course we had to decorate the shed/barn. So after the last of the lights was up we took a little drive solely so that we could see what our lights look like to other people…As you may have guessed by now the decorate-before-Thanksgiving-but-leave-the-lights-off-until-after-dinner suggestion made all those years ago has slowly faded away.
As I was thinking about our little drive to see our Christmas lights, I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees.
In Matthew 23 He admonished them because they were so focused on the outward appearance while failing to take care of their hearts (Matthew 23: 25-28). I compare it to a house that looks magical and warm and inviting this time of the year. But upon walking in the house is a disaster and the occupants are hateful, angry, and spiteful. Despite the welcoming outward appearance, the inside is not where I would want to be spending my time.
The same is true of our lives. Are we walking the Christian walk and saying all the Christian things but failing to live it out where it matters? It doesn’t matter how good we look to those around us if we don’t love them like Jesus does. It’s as if our houses are beautifully decorated on the outside but falling apart on the inside. It’s only when we let the transforming power and love of God into our lives that His light shines out through us for the dark world to see…
Lately, I’ve been using the excuse “because 2020” as a reason to do or not do something depending on the particular situation. I made the suggestion that we leave the lights off until after our Thanksgiving because I knew we’d be home. That suggestion was quickly vetoed by my own excuse🙄–and I’m kind of okay with that😄…We all could use a little more Christmas this year and every year really…
Until next time,
P.S. I’ve designed a couple of t-shirts about decorating and Christmas lights that you might be interested in. One is called “It’s Time To Deck the Halls” and the other is “Let Your Light Shine”! As always they are available in multiple styles and sizes!
2 thoughts on “Deck the Halls!”
Thanks for sharing this. I have such fond memories of you and your family. Hope the day comes when we can see one another again. Love ya.
You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I too hope that we can see each other again soon! 🙂
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