Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Trees bringing Joy?

This week's questions are, "How do you display the joy and peace that Christ has filled you with? How do you use the gifts that He has entrusted to you to heap joy on those around you?"

I read this morning's post and took the time to read a couple of responses (you can link up your own response by clicking on the graphic above). Jennifer Cote blogged that she took some extra time to decorate this year, especially in her shop, as a way to say, "I am excited. Jesus is coming." That spoke to me--loudly.

You see, we are in the process of getting our decorations up, and I would not say that I am joyful about it. Decorating is not my "thing." I don't have a passion for it and I don't have much talent for it. So, in the craziness of life, if something is going to go, then decorating it will be. Last year, I didn't even want to put up a tree at all! I couldn't deal with getting all those boxes out, just to have to put them back in a few weeks. Sad, huh? Well, this year, we went to get our tree on Saturday. It was a nice day, and we had fun picking it out and Terry cut it down himself and dragged it out to our car in a very manly way. We got the lights on that night and were going to decorate on Sunday after church. Amanda definitely had the joy. She had been invited on a playdate Saturday afternoon, and cautioned us, "Do not decorate the tree without me."

Sunday was a big boxful of joyous memories as she pulled each ornament out of the boxes, and said, "Oh, I remember when I made this one at preschool!" or "Ooooh, this one is pretty. Where did we get this?" That really did bring me joy (and a little shame at being such a reluctant merry-maker).

Later, I had a reminder that Christian joy shines in spite of our circumstances. Was it all a holly, jolly Christmas once the halls were decked? No, not at all. In fact, within two hours of getting the tree decorated, it fell over! ARGH! Three years ago, our tree plagued us with falling over several times. Yes, that was a joy-stealer. So, the carefully placed ornaments are now awry and some are even broken, but I'm going to take Jennifer's lead and finish up my decorating in anticipation and celebration of Christ's glorious birth. I won't just do it so that it's done, I'll do as a joyful reminder of the glorious season.


Barb said...

Oh no. It fell over?!! My worst nightmare. I know exactly what you mean. This year I have had to just force myself to get the tree up and decorated. And it's beautiful but I don't know what we were thinking when we put the lights on. We switched from multicolored lights to white lights for the first time ever and for some reason I thought we needed ten strings of 100 - 1,000 lights.

I'm waiting for it to burst into flames. I'm actually embarrassed. But there's absolutely no way I'm taking all the ornaments off to remove half the lights. I feel like Clark Griswold. Sigh....

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Oh girl - I am so sorry that it fell over!

My joy in decorating is definitely helped by an incredibly gorgeous artificial tree. My husband hates it, but it is WONDERFUL! It doesn't wobble - it is perfectly shaped AND I can bend and move the branches to make the ornaments hand perfectly. And for a perfectionist, this is all really important! LOL

Yes i miss the smell of the real thing - but I am loving the ease of the fake one.

I put up photos of my whole process for my tackle tomorrow (today) - and even a slide show of the kids having a blast during it all. It is pretty cute!

I often can get burdened by it all - but this year I resolved to do it early and have fun, focusing n the joy!!!

Erna said...

I'm glad you have chosen to focus on the joy of celebrating Jesus rather than the stresses of decorating. :0)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,
Just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog, and let you know that I've taken it offline. I've decided to take a break from blogging. Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season.
(formerly of Seek First His Kingdom)

Heather said...

I hate decorating, except at Christmas time. I love pulling everything out and setting it up while listening to Christmas music and smelling the hot chocolate with a touch of cinnamon and the tree and how that just smells of hope and life. It's part of my advent, I guess.

Dad said...

We put up the TG weekend and Susan finally got it finished while I was in Fort Worth. I had forgotten how tall it is-12ft. Looks great. We put up lots of Mother's handmades around the house, even on the large ficus. Hope to have people over to enjoy. We will take pictures, and at least save them for you.

Susanne said...

Oh my! I've never had a tree fall over! I'd be devastated (and probably good and mad). Putting lights on the tree really stresses me out. But what a wonderful way of looking at it that you wrote about. I'm keeping that thought for next year when it's time to do the lights.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

PS - voted for you today! :)

Anonymous said...

LOL Jennifer! That happened to us last year. Mike cut ours down himself while we all stood by and that was the worst time we ever had getting it to fit and then to stand in its stand.....ROFL! I am laughing now, but we weren't too tickled last year let me tell you. But that is a memory in and of itself and someday the children will remember that in the future and maybe have a good time over it. hehe