December, 14, 2013 — 7 a.m.
I passed by the Christmas tree. It’s not yet decorated, we just put it up last night. Not only is it barren, but the lights weren’t plugged in and on. So, there sat the Christmas tree, quietly darkened with light in the house allowing it to be seen. I thought about the years I have written by the light of the Christmas Tree. This is the first time it’s been triggered while it’s not lit up.
I’m not exactly sure what about the darkened tree prompted the feeling to write. Feeling or need? I plugged in the lights and turned them on, although I didn’t plug in the extra light strand, so there are spots on the tree that are darker. It’s one of those trees that’s pre-lit and yes, it’s artificial. Allergies stopped the buying of live trees. That and thinking how silly to waste a tree for a short period, plus, the cost kept going up.
Oh, how I loved the Noble Firs we use to buy. And how I remember the time we went to the nursery and picked out a tree, set it on the sidewalk together, then both thought the other to be holding it and we met each other on one side of the tree. It stood by itself on the concrete. We took it home.
We’ve battled with artificial trees. Some too cumbersome, some broke as we assembled them. Then, there has been the battle of the style of the tree. Never the same as live trees. But, I suppose we’re settled on our space-saving artificial tree. I was thinking we would have tinsel on it this year since our cat is no longer with us. She always supervised the tree as we assembled it. Then she always got caught chewing on a branch. The best thing was finding her nestled under the tree in the fake snow (a white sheet).
Well, we have a new puppy this year and I’m not sure what to expect. However, she didn’t seem to mind it at all when I was unfolding the branches last evening. She lay down beside me, facing the underside of the tree, and lay her head jut under its branches. She was curious but well behaved. I say “puppy” but she’s a year and a half, or so they say. We just adopted her from a shelter. She’s so sweet and the Dog Dude seems to like her, until he feels his aches and age.
I glanced up just now, looked through the slit between the glass of the door and the blinds. The sky is a light morning blue. In the distance I thought I saw mountains. Dark humps on the horizon, silhouetted in pink below the light blue edge of the sky. Clouds. We don’t have mountains here. It is a beautiful sight nevertheless. It’s faded a bit even as I have just written about it.
We, or maybe I should say I, have been watching Christmas shows lately. My husband has watched some of them with me. Actually, quite a few. Some are new to us, some are repeats. Some are really good and some are plain silly or ridiculous.
I’ve noticed that it’s odd, how Christmas Hymns (Carols) play in the back drop of romantic scenes. While the couple finds one another, Hark the Herald Angels plays in the background. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed it so much if the captions weren’t on. Not much, if any, of the shows had anything to do with Christ. The couple finds one another, they get close and I think kiss while the wonderful hymn plays in the background with the incongruent words pop up on the screen “Hark the Herald Angels sing, glory to the new born King.”
Earlier in the show, a jazzed up version of “Noel” played in the background of a bar scene. No captions for the words of the Carol – just the jazzy sounds of the familiar tune. Christ wasn’t in that scene either.
I was tiring of Santa themes. I have been watching a lot of these Christmas movies. And some, as I said, have been totally silly. All are about phrases that can come from Christ in Christmas. Love. Forgiveness. Sharing. Giving. Many are just about miracles which are not miracles at all, just a story. I’ve found myself feeling burdened by the commercial feelings that overshadow Christmas. I remember when the phrase “x-mas” raised so much response from folks. We’ve come a long way. Slowly Christ is being covered up and it is trying to be x-mas.
There stood my space-saving artificial tree earlier, it’s pre-installed lights not yet lit. It’s patches of dark tree now speaking against the lit branches. Despite so many controversial, bleak and sad memories which seem to dress the Christmas season, and despite the fact that we considered not putting the tree out this year, it speaks quietly to me. A small piece of joy that seems to get overwhelmed by so very much, always. If I did not have Christ in my life, in my heart, my life would be dark, as dark as the unlit tree. I’m so thankful for the light of Christ in my heart. His light penetrates the darkest parts of my heart and thoughts. It’s sometimes a battle, but ‘m so thankful. Thankful for pure, unconditional love from Jehovah God in the form of Christ and the Holy Spirit all three in my heart because I saw how dark things would be in my life should I not choose His salvation. There’s no way I desired to be separated from God’s Love, so I accepted His gift of salvation, of forgiveness of my sins which separated me from Him.
And that’s what it’s about …
Hark! The herald angels sing! Glory to the new born king!
Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say Rejoice!
Yes, the Dog Dude has a bo-bo for Christmas.