Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where the heck did I put my Christmas tree last year?

I seriously made that comment the other day.

I was talking with one of our bass players at church about how difficult it is to set up a Christmas tree with animals. You know, large dogs wagging their big ol’ tails and knocking the tree over or dashing ornaments to the floor. Cats climbing in the branches. Mine particularly liked to try and eat the tinsel. That was the last year for tinsel. Dogs lapping up the water, etc.

I seriously couldn’t remember what I had done last year.

Then it dawned on me. I hadn’t set up ANY Christmas decorations last year (duh!). Or the year before for that matter.

It has been a gradual process…and it all goes back to many years ago.

I was driving to yet another meeting. I felt super stressed as I was planning all the things I needed to do. I worked in children’s retail, so I had absolutely NO time. Christmas in retail is ridiculously insane.

I was listening to the radio and it ending with someone saying…

“What if it was your birthday and no one remembered?”

That stopped me literally in my tracks. I had to pull of the road and I cried for awhile. Realizing that I had really forgotten over the years with all the hoopla-to focus on Christ at all. It really changed the way I thought about things.

Slowly, I started dropping things that I used to “do” for Christmas and worked more on “being” with Jesus.

Then our children stopped spending Christmas day with us several years ago. That was a really bad year. I had no motivation at all. I think I may have put up the tree and added one strand of lights to it. I like lights. That was the last year for the tree.

So what do I do now on Christmas Day? I simply light a candle and think about Jesus’ birth. I read the Christmas story in the Bible.

Then we order Chinese food and get a video to watch.

I think that is why I am so excited about our Christmas message this year at church. We are doing a visual movement piece where we are starting with Mary and baby Jesus alone on the stage and then adding all the Christmas hoopla until Mary and the baby Jesus are barely visible in all off the Christmas madness. Hopefully it will make people think…

So, I ask you today…

What if it was your birthday and no one remembered?

How will you remember His birthday celebration this year?

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