Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It is Pre-Christmas--when every year at this time, I long for Advent.

Last year "The Thing in the Attic;" hung over my head like the sword of Damocles. "The Thing" was our giant artificial Christmas tree that lurked ominously up there. When Paul decided to get it down, he didn't ask anyone for help and the boxed tree shot from the attic into his waiting arms like a baby rushing down the birth canal into a midwife's hands. Only he was on a ladder at the time.

This year Paul has been distracted and busy with other things, but on Saturday, over pancakes, Brenda, whose tree is already up downstairs, teased him about his lack of festive spirit. "Downstairs it's all 'deck the halls,' " she said, "and upstairs it's all 'bah humbug.'"

"Don't encourage your dad to get that tree out of the attic," I said.

"Please don't try it on your own," I said to Paul.

Brenda laughed and said that she could see the headlines already: "Crushed by a Christmas tree; Paul always did love Christmas; it just didn't love him back."

Did we go wrong somewhere in our child raising? Well it's too late now.

In spite of there being no evidence at all of the coming celebration in our part of the house, the rest of the world seems to be galloping towards Christmas.

I drove down the main street of town after dark, and while stopped at a traffic light, I gazed at a storefront window full of blinking blue and white illuminated stars . As they pulsated, they reminded me of a giant organism with a beating heart, or the machines in an Intensive Care Unit. Yikes! The invasion of the Christmas Lights.

My car blended into the stream of traffic slowly and carefully making its way down the snowy highway, bumper to bumper in either direction, the line of lights like diamonds in a double stranded necklace. Wet snow stuck to windshields and wipers and I thanked God for my snow tires securely hugging the road. Winter has arrived.

I know that sometime soon, Christmas will descend upon our household and hearts just as the glorious heavenly host descended on the hills of Bethlehem.

I think I will try what my friend Marilyn wrote about on her blog. She got out just one Christmas decoration, electric candles; and placed them on her window sills. This simple thing energized her and filled her with peace. I can get one thing out, no problem; and who knows what will follow?

Meanwhile, I am focusing on preparing my heart for Christmas; making a place of welcome and space there for Jesus. That is the most important decorating, after all.

John 1:14 (New International Version)
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


Marilyn said...

Oh, you started my day with a good laugh... "sword of Damocles" and Brenda imagining the headlines....hahahaha.....

Your point about the most important decorating is well-taken. I want my heart to be ready, for His coming and for His movement in my life. Is it?

Right now I am thinking about everyone who may come here and what each one considers the one things that has to happen in order for it to be Christmas for them. Do you know what I mean? Every person has their own thought, that it's not Christmas unless and until we hear this song or attend this service or hang this ornament or watch this movie or eat this food. And it's all good stuff.

But what is the Lord asking we have as our one thing? "It's not Christmas unless or until...........what?"

THANK YOU for helping me filter and process some of my thoughts as we step toward Advent.

Angcat said...

I love this Belinda, beautifully written and so full of truth.

If anyone gets a chance, I still encourage them to watch 'Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping". The title of that segment is "What would Jesus Buy?"

It comes across as a bit loopy to start, then the message behind this troop of protesters starts to come through. Set aside an hour and a half to watch it completely. It's well worth the time.

Brave Raven said...

I love the way you look at life. Long lines of traffic could be a cause for road rage but instead becomes "diamonds in a double stranded necklace." Thanks for pointing out the beauty in the mundane.

night owl said...

yay for Christmas! :)
one of the things I love so much about Christmas is the warmth and love and joy... I think if things like Christmas trees and angels and stars (and Christmas cookies and hot chocolate) help us feel the love and joy of the season, they can't possibly be "bad"... But always, too much of anything can become "bad" and stressful and unhappy.
But I think Jesus would LOVE our decorations in honour of His birth. :)
It's not the things themselves that bring joy, as no thing can have such power on its own. So yes, I don't think we NEED things to feel the love and joy of the season...
But I still like decorating - it gives me a fun (not work/school) thing to do when I'm happily waiting for Christmas!
I think this is the best part of Christmas - Advent. :)
Happy Advent, Whatever He Says Bloggers and Readers. :)