Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Tis the Season...

I was sitting in the dentist office waiting- room paging thru the holiday edition of a popular home & garden magazine. It was full of super ideas on decorating for the season. How to transform your house into a beautiful oasis of holiday cheer--how to make a place that will make your guests feel welcome and inspire family traditions that will last for years to come. I flipped thru the pages marveling at how someone can take a branch from a fir tree, a pinecone, & a bow and transform it into a beautiful centerpiece for the dining room table. I am amazed at how people can choose theme colors to decorate with that coordinate everything in the room to flow together. Pieces of fruit that automatically get tossed in my fridge to be soon consumed, are somehow transformed into expensive looking displays.

Every year I drag out the same bin of decorations. My tree looks identical year after year--no theme ornaments or color schemes that coordinate my gift wrapping to match my drapes. I'm not complaining. I love my Christmas decorations & tree ornaments--some belonged to elderly family members now gone, some adorned my family Christmas tree when I was a child, and new hand-made ones are added every year made by the kids. They are like dear, old friends who come by for their annual visit at this special time.
I was almost finished paging through the magazine, feeling envious of the holiday bliss these homes would bring these lucky families and feeling down -trodden by my lack of creativity, when I noticed that not one highlighted home had displayed a nativity scene. I didn't even see Christmas angels. One of the pictures had a caption reading that the true meaning of the season was being with your family. While I agree that this time of year is more fun spent surrounded by loved ones (that is the reason we are packing our 6 kids & 2 dogs to drive back to the northeast), it is not the TRUE meaning of Christmas.
When you walk into my house this time of year, you'll notice the Advent Wreath as the centerpiece of my kitchen table. My mantle display is a large "Story of Christmas" book that contains 25 smaller books. We read one book each night at dinner. The story starts with the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and ends the night that Jesus Christ is born. You won't find exquisite displays of greenery & gifts, but you probably will notice the ten nativity scenes I have placed throughout various rooms. I doubt you'll ever see my home pictured in a home decorating magazine, but I do hope if you visit, the reason for the season will be obvious & you'll leave here feeling that the Prince of Peace lives within.

God Bless Us, Everyone!