It lasted longer than we thought it would. There were so many days we forgot to check the water; I could hear the needles drying out.
Our Christmas tree was up days longer than usual. I didn’t want it to come down at all. Every morning, since I’m up really early, I’d turn the lights on and have my space and time, journaling and reading my Bible, backlit by the twinkle of Christmas awe.
I didn’t want it to end.
Early morning is quiet, time for contemplation and reflection. No one needs me immediately. I make a cup of coffee and relax. Reading God’s Word focuses me on truth, His peace and presence, helping me filter life through a reality I need.
And those lights.
The needles, however, told another story. There was a cascade of tinkling needles hitting the floor, and in the quiet, it took away from the twinkle.
The tree needed to be pitched.
John has been after me for years to buy an artificial tree. His logic is solid–it lasts longer, no fire hazard, needles don’t fly off when you brush by it. Best of all, it pays for itself in a few years.
I can’t do it.
John and I undecorated our tree. The more ornaments we took off, the more needles fell to the floor.
It felt like we were shaming the tree.
The worst part was the stinky water.
Our lack of watering toward the end didn’t mean the water was gone. It had sat there, becoming smelly with the old trunk submerged in it. And when John dragged the tree to the backyard, he dumped the foul fluid all over the floor.
Insult on top of injury. The residual effect of keeping something too long. Like molded food in my refrigerator.
Christmas is being stored. Blow-up characters and waving snowmen are being put away. Lights are coming down–not everywhere. Tree carcasses line the street.
We’re back to same old, same old. No more Christmas kindness. No random interactions with folks when you wish them a Merry Christmas–that’s done. Finished. Let’s get back to life.
Is that really the best plan?
Wouldn’t it be amazing for people to maintain a joyful, anticipatory spirit every day of life? Where kindness comes naturally, where folks interact with generous spirits, where Good News to all men is our daily reality and not just a season?
We’ve entered a new decade, where world circumstances are precarious at best, where our country is in an election year that won’t be pretty, where factions are the norm rather than unity.
And yet we desperately need true companionship. Honest relationships with others that can support us in hard times, laugh with us in good times, love us no matter what we do or how we show up.
Only God can do that. Only He can offer us the hope we need that He gifted us with at Christmas. Only He can be our Enough in a world lost in darkness, selfishness, and pride.
I don’t want to be a Christmas carcass.
I choose His Light and Life.
He makes it happen.