Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Craziness of Christmas--and some Meaning too

I spent much of the day involved with getting Christmas decorating up. Let's not think about what a silly expenditure of time that may be; it's part of the festivity and merriment of the season, especially in a home with a young boy, and with a girl coming home from college. I can hardly not decorate!
For some reason, every year when I put the lights on the tree, that Russian men's dance song goes through my head--I guess I get a bit dizzy going around and around the tree, and it really is kind of energetic and helps me to enjoy the process that generally doesn't end up extremely perfect. I'm an imperfectionist, if you must know; a good-enoughist; an inadequatist. It was good enough. I only stop this short because otherwise I would spend an inordinate amount of time and frustration and an inadequate amount of skill to accomplish an insignificant amount of impression. Jesus is my adequacy, and He doesn't put electric lights on trees, that I've ever noticed.
Last summer I helped someone set up an estate sale of his mother's things. It was really a very humble little sale, but at some points it was fun and I came home with some treasures in the process. One set of treasures I really had in mind to give to a friend at the time (and no, it wasn't you), but after a while I fell in love with them myself: some well-worn, well-loved ornaments that are probably 50 years old if not older. They are mostly somewhat scratched red balls, and those that at one time had a glitter design now only had the design and no glitter. But I love them increasingly; they were the first I put on the tree. Once they were up, most of our family ornaments (and we have entirely too many) just didn't seem so important. I thought Tim would disagree, but he entirely agreed with me. We put up a few of our favorites and that was it. I'm hoping that Katie will agree and we can rid ourselves of the baggage of most of those other ornaments for lack of anyone's interest. Stuff is losing its hold on me, in places. Hallelujah!
Stuff in other places still has its hold. We have too many little knick-knacks for Christmas...but I know that I would still hear protests if I got rid of any of them. We remember each occasion, who gave us what etc. and memories are as important as the items themselves.
Christmas is a strange time, considering that the holiday is not one of the Jewish feasts or anything prescribed in Scripture; we celebrate it by doing things that we really have to stretch to connect with the event of His birth; and those things that we do really distract from "the true meaning of the Season"--that elusive meaningful celebration that everyone talks about and one might suspect few find. I have to say I only recall one year that we really got into the Advent celebration consistently enough that it was a really main highlight of our Christmas celebration. This year we are running late, too, even though I've had our Bethlehem-shaped (it's round, made of black metal that looks like a silhouette of a Bethlehem skyline) "wreath" out for a couple of weeks. I think I'd better go try starting it up after all; no time like the present to try to make some sense out of this craziness. Besides, we do it with a tea party going on alongside (doesn't everyone?), and Tim loves the sugar. I know he'll do all he can to help.

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