‘Tis the Season

I finally drug the Christmas tree out of storage yesterday – only about a week and a half late. We usually do the holiday decorating the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

It’s not that we are not in the spirit of Christmas; I started playing my Christmas radio stations on Pandora before Thanksgiving. I love the seasonal music – especially Manheim Steamroller’s instrumental arrangements. No, it’s not that we are humbugs or grinches. It’s more that we lost two months of “home” time and are trying desperately to catch up.

Now our tree is not the floor to ceiling monstrosity we used to have. It died last year. We replaced it with a little four foot version. I mounted lights on it and left them on when we put it in a storage bag last year. Getting it out was only a matter of expended energy – something in short supply lately.

This morning, Melanie was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t know what to do first today. She has a list a mile long which includes Christmas cards, paying bills, cleaning her desk, having her car checked, and a multitude of other things. So, being the wonderful husband that I try to be, after buying additional lights for the tree at Lowes, I took her car to the shop to have the codes checked (the check engine light came on while we were away and Christy was driving it). It seems that at some point it missed a beat and the oxygen sensor is running slow. Huh? Oh well, I’m assured it is not a problem at this time so Melanie doesn’t have to worry about a big car repair bill.

After that, I volunteered to decorate the house for Christmas. I added the lights (my job anyway), roped the gold netting through the boughs, added gold balls, two hearts, a key, and some ivory grape bunches for contrast. It doesn’t look too bad for an amateur decorator. I then moved to the nativity set that my Mom gave us when we were married. I guess that makes it an antique! I put my own twist on its setup.

Next came the swag over the archway between living room segments. It is heavy and awkward to handle. Not only that, but it has been used many years and is beginning to show its age. I’m about half way through that as I write. (How do you spell “break time”?) It needs a lot of fluffing and rearranging. When it is ready, we will hang our collection of “family” ornaments on it. We have collected a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids over the years. These are prominently displayed on this greenery swag.

We have discussed the gift giving situation for this year. It is usually some amount of money, and for those who live in town, stocking stuffer gifts. I keep asking Melanie what she wants. Her list is frustratingly short – one practical item. I hate giving practical items, though I usually concede in the end. I’m sure my list is equally frustrating. What do you give the guy who has no needs that can be purchased in a store? Not even Amazon who sells “nearly everything” has anything tempting.

Then again, the gift we have given each other year after year keeps getting larger and larger. It no longer fits on the tree. Nor does it fit under the tree. It can’t be wrapped in fancy paper and tied with a bow. How do you present the gift of love? Our love has grown each year until it is well beyond measure. It has transformed over the years from hot passion to comfortable companionship.

I guess this year I will wrap it in decorating the house, baking gingerbread men/women cookies and perhaps a couple of pumpkin or pecan pies, and helping her in a multitude of other ways. It is the least I can do for her tremendous sacrifice over the years.

As I’m writing this, I realize our love is but a reflection of the love Jesus has shown us as He left the throne of glory to become an infant who grew into a man who allowed Himself to be sacrificed on a tree so that we might have life. And I do have life most abundantly.

To paraphrase a credit card company’s slogan, “What’s under your tree?”

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