I have made another discovery, so I’ll share it with you here.
The discovery is that Christmas does not require one to become enveloped in all the festive trappings associated with this joyous and holy holiday.
How do I know this? Because we are living it in 2017.
We have no tree. We have wrapped a few presents, which we’ll exchange with family members in the next couple of days. We’re holed up in our recreational vehicle, getting ready to hit the road very soon.
Lights outside? Nope. Stockings for Santa to fill? Nada.
We are enjoying the spirit of the season.
My wife grew up in a family that celebrated Christmas on the eve of the big day. They sat around the tree, opened gifts, laughed and carried on, then went to church to celebrate the season’s actual significance to us Christians.
My family celebrated the big day the morning after Santa arrived. We, too, would gather around the tree after rousting Mom and Dad out of bed. We’d carry on and laugh as we opened our gifts. We would decorate our house with plenty of lights, a task which yours truly inherited as I grew old enough to climb onto the roof.
Oh, and we would leave milk and cookies for Santa. We awoke Christmas morning to find a half-eaten cookie and a partially consumed glass of milk … along with a thank-you note from Santa for the snack. And we didn’t put together the coincidence that Santa’s handwriting matched Mom’s impeccable penmanship. Who knew?
This year the holiday brings an entirely different meaning for my wife and me. We will attend a Christmas Eve service tonight at our church. Then the next day we’ll share a Christmas dinner in our RV with one of our sons and we’ll swap gifts with him.
Before that, we’re going to strap on aprons at the Salvation Army and serve homeless Amarillo residents. It’s something we thought would imbue some additional actual Christmas spirit into our hearts.
So it will be for us.
I’ve told you already about a memorable Christmas we spent as we moved into a newly built house in Amarillo. That was then. I am utterly certain this year’s holiday is going to produce even more indelible memories.
Even without all the trappings.