Today we started packing up our Christmas tree. It’s kinda sad, seeing all the pretty Christmas things be put away. Really, I think that’s most of the reason why we love the Christmas season so much, the decorations and the music and everything helps remind us and get in the spirit of the season. It is hard to put it away.
One thing I have really enjoyed about Christmas in years past is a tradition that my family has long had: buying Christmas ornaments. Each year my parents bought each of us kids an ornament, usually during the after-Christmas discount sale, but still, we each got a new ornament every year. This was fun growing up, going to the store each year and seeing the new ornaments, planning which one we wanted, hoping there were still some left after Christmas, then hanging them on the tree. Each box was labelled with our name and the year. And part of the fun was going through our ornaments each year and hanging them on the tree where we wanted. It was fun to see all of the ornaments that all of us had amassed over the years.
What was particularly nice about this tradition is when I got married and moved out. My mom gave me a box with 22 ornaments to put on our tree. Where most newlywed couples find themselves with a bare tree, or having to buy a lot of ornaments, we had all of my ornaments from my childhood. Granted, some of them are childish ornaments, and some my wife doesn’t think are as cool as I do, like my X-wing fighter or Darth Vader, who plugs into a Christmas light socket and speaks the line, “The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”
And we have continued this tradition with our family, my wife and I in the last couple of years, and this year with our son. It will be nice to get ornaments for our kids, watching them have the same excitement I had when getting my ornaments as a child. And that is a large part of Christmas for me: family and tradition and love. I really do enjoy Christmastime, as much as I grumble and complain about commercialization and stores putting up decorations in August. I enjoy the decorations and the good feelings that they bring. I enjoy the love that people feel when they see a nicely decorated home and tree.
It is interesting to see how much we transform our entire lives because of Christmas. We change everything we do to accommodate the decorations, and the Christmas season. Which is as it should be, we should change completely everything about who we are because of what Christmas means: Jesus Christ was born. And because of his life and death we have hope for life. I heard the quote once, “Either Christ rose the third day or he did not. And if he did, that is so wonderful that it must permeate our entire existence.” That is what Christmas is and should be, and not just during December.