Christmas smiles

I have a 6-ft. tall Christams tree standing my living room. It’s decorated with multi-colored lights the gleam like a winter rainbow in front of my patio window.

There ornaments are mostly pink, silver and blue, and the bow at the top is a big red knot left over from a gift I got once somewhere. The tree skirt was the cheapest I could find — a $3.72 white fabric that’s meant to mimic snow, but succeeds only in that it’s white.

I also have a little 1-ft. tree by my door, with a little pink star on top. It’s perfect.

Then, in the corner, is a nativity set my Aunt Sandy gave me a few years back. I set out the fragile white pieces and wooden barn on two end tables covered in a green blanket, and drizzled with the white snow flakes from Wal-Mart.

And when I carefully placed the Shepherd and his sheep on the side, Mary by her son, the wise men in a line and the Angles on high, I was reminded how mystical the whole situation really was.

In the evenings, when the deary winter nights loom over everything, tainting it all with a sort of depressive awfulness, I like to sit on my couch, in the dark, with just the two trees lit up. Then, I let them work their nostalgia magic.

They bring me back to Christmas mornings of yore, when I would wake up my brothers a 4 a.m. to go downstairs and analyze our stockings. The remind me of the glorious time before I knew that presents cost money, parents are flawed and Santa isn’t real.

The reach in my heart, and wake-up the Christmas spirit.

And all I can think about is littering the tree skirt with gifts for people I love.

And it’s not so much that I want to give them stuff, but that I want to give them a Christmas smile.

I want to see their eyes light up with surprise and excitement and joy and the knowledge that someone they know loves them enough to go out and find them the perfect vintage baseball card, or zebra pajamas, or electric Monopoly set, or Old Testament Lego book.

I want to get excited just by standing next to them.

And so, this Christmas, I will most definitely remember the reason for the season. I will spend much time reading Luke 2, listening to “Mary did you know,” and participating in Christmas mission work.

But I’ll also give into to the commercialism of it all a little bit too.

Because it’s the decorations and the gift giving and the “Jingle Bells” that help us achieve the not-so-small task of glimpsing the magical innocence of the holiday each of us beamed with in our younger years.

And it’s the twinkling majesty of the season that nudges us with the overwhelming awesomeness of our Savior being born.


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