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Monday, December 03, 2007

December's Debut

I haven't made a December debut here because, well, I felt obligated to come up with something "Christmassy". And, well, I got nothin'.

I mean, I love Christmas.

It's my most favorite time of the year.

This year, however, I can't believe it's here.

I started digging my heels into the horribly hot, humidified ground back in October when I went into a couple of stores for football season and tailgating supplies and found Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations...
In October!
Something inside of me was agitated, horrified to see Christmas and Halloween in the same stores...Because it was October, Halloween got the better location...Heinous!

Yes, Hobby Lobby and Academy.

This completely over commercialized aspect of Christmas could totally take away from its specialness to us if we let it.

Let me explain.

I have a beautiful nativity set. It's Willow Tree. It's magical. It's magnificent. I love it!

I love taking it out of the box.

I love gasping with delight as I see it for the first time each Christmas.

I love the children's squeals as they see it for the first time each Christmas.

I hate wrapping it up and putting it away when I feel like I just got it out to enjoy.

So, one year, I left it out all year.

I didn't put it in the Christmas box.

It didn't get wrapped in tissue after only a couple of weeks on display.

No attic for the nativity set that year.

For a couple of weeks I awed a little as I walked by it.

Then oohed a little as I dusted it.

But, by the next Christmas it was covered in dust with the rest of my Willow Tree treasures as I scurried about preparing for the Christmas season.

If the truth be told, it was covered in dust long before Christmas rolled around again. (But, this story is not about my battle with recurrent dust. This post is about my beef with commercializing Christmas beginning in October.)

The point is that by Christmas time the nativity set was ordinary at best. It was something I saw every single day and consequently, almost quit looking at.

Don't get me wrong. I totally felt the same awe over the Christmas story itself. I just lost the awe that comes with taking my sweet holy family out of the box that year.

I missed reverently setting it up on my kitchen shelf.

I missed asking each character what they were feeling as they first beheld our Savior as a beautiful, sweet, tiny, helpless baby.

I missed pondering with Mary.
I missed protecting my Savior with Joseph.
I missed thinking how totally surrendered to God these parents must have been...Raising our Savior...Just think.

I missed giving my gifts with the Wise Men.
I missed worshipping with the shepherds.

I missed part of my Christmas tradition.

Now, I don't just set it out, I wait for the kids to come home from school. That way, we can all ooh and aah and squeal with delight over each tiny, exquisite figurine as it is lovingly set up just perfectly.

We sit down and read the Christmas story together for the first time of the Christmas season. The kids tell me what they think each participant in Jesus' birth thought.

We even cover the animals. They were happy, crowded, curious, hungry and warm to name a few of the animals' emotions.

I hope this tradition grows with our family.

I will be sure to post pictures of this blessed event.

I have been delaying putting up our decorations because I was already tired of looking at commercial trees by the beginning of November!

Help keep Christmas to one month and retain its specialness...Please!


Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

I love these special events and I love that our kids can see the love and the awe that WE have for the Lord and we are passing that on to them.

Renee Heaton said...

I am with you on this issue! I actually even received Christmas cards in November! Who has it so together that you send out Christmas cards six weeks early....come on people! I love that nativity set. That is so special. Great memories for the kids.