The Christmas decorations are up. I can hardly wait until after Thanksgiving (but never before) every year to tackle it. We don’t “theme” our tree. At least not at this juncture. Our ornaments are sentimental – given to us through the years or bought as souvenirs. The oldest dates back to the year I was born. I won’t say exactly what year that was. Some baubles I made as a child, some were made by my children. Some are so very ugly that they are relegated to the back of the tree where no one will see them. We laugh each time we hand-select the decorations to receive this “honor” knowing that no matter how hideous, we will only ever throw them away if they get broken beyond repair.
Our Christmas decor holds many memories. There is something so comforting about getting it all out of the attic and putting it up for us to see. A nativity that belonged to my grandfather, an ornament commemorating the first home we owned together, Shrinky Dinks made with my children, and things sewn by my grandmother. Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like surrounding myself with these precious, familiar things.
Christmas movies also put me in the mood for the season. My in-laws took us to see the new animated show The Star. As I write this, the reviews sit at 55% rotten. It’s simple. It’s silly. But it’s sincere. It’s a retelling of the first Christmas, told from the perspective of the animals. And no matter how many times I hear the true story of Christmas, no matter who is telling it, it touches me deeply. My tears escaped their confines as I took in the familiar story of God’s great sacrifice. That He would send His only Son down into this world of danger and pain to be a sacrifice for our sins. That this tiny baby saves those who will receive Him from ultimate destruction. I know it. But I’m overwhelmed by it. The beautiful, sacrificial, familiar love of God.
Welcome to the Christmas season.
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 NIV
I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Familiar.”