Christmas Decorated or Not

Christmas Decorated or Not

Our house was decorated inside and out. We had gone to the extra care that year to make the house especially festive. We had an unfinished basement at the time, so that saved us a bit of decorating time! It was our tradition during those days to have an annual Christmas party with our friends and their kids. This particular year one of my sweet friends came over early to help me get ready. She has a great sense of humor and as one particular couple came to the door, she introduced herself and gave the entering couple a fake name she adopted. She went along with her joke well into the evening and we laughed heartily when the truth was told.

The tables were covered with colorful wrapping paper with the corners pressed neatly beneath the bottom of each table so they didn’t show. Christmas centerpieces to set each table apart, coordinating plates and napkins. A fire glowing in the family room that connected to the kitchen. Lingering smells of the prepared meal we would partake of soon. We had so much fun eating together with tables and chairs set up throughout our main level.

We always had an icebreaker so that all of our friends would soon become one another's friends as well. It was usually a game, like putting a Christmas character’s name on a person’s back, then they had to walk around asking other people to give them hints as to who they were until they guessed their identity correctly. The kids would all go downstairs where a Christmas movie played on a small TV, too many crafts, ornaments and decorations to get put together in one evening, snacks, and of course their Christmas dinner. I understood at the time the enjoyment kids have making things, dripping, gluing, painting and creating – that’s why they were downstairs on the concrete floor – easy cleanup!

When everyone got done eating, we put on our jackets, gloves, hats and snow boots to tour the neighborhood going door to door singing Christmas carols. It was delightful to see the joy on neighbors' faces when they opened their front door. Warm hearts and good friendship mixed over the years as friends came and went with moves in and out of state. It always feels like Christmas when we are together with others doesn’t it?

This Christmas you may be able to enjoy the company of others in your family or close friends. You may want to have a quiet Christmas with just one other person. No matter how you prepare your home, decorated or not, meals especially prepared or not, one thing is for certain, our Savior’s birth is celebrated. Each of the gospels presents the birth and ministry of Jesus with details we can all appreciate. They are not exactly worded the same, but the meaning and redemptive message of or Lord is very evident. Whether we read about his ministry by ourselves, with others, in a decorated home, or one that is not, it doesn’t change how much He loves each of us or how He desires our whole heart. It doesn’t change His message, mission or ministry. I pray each of you will celebrate His birth with a heart filled with joy, remembering the precious gift of life we receive as we proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior.