It’s Christmas Again; Do I Decorate Without Kids?; Finally, an Advent that is truly Advent

Merry

The holidays are here. I’ve written about them once already, but I feel this is going to be a month-long blog about holidays.

So, here’s this holiday topic: to decorate or not for Christmas.

Last year, the holidays were a blur. I had moved in August, which after 25 years is a daunting but actually very good thing to do–talk about purging. And, I was working a new job, so in my usual extremism, I worked, and am working, 24/7 to establish a career after two decades of not having one. The holidays came and went, and I never noticed or considered decorating. Some people referred to me as a Grinch for not standing by the time-honored tradition of “greening the house.” I used the excuses mentioned above to silence their horror, and spent the holidays without tinsel or lights. I didn’t really mind.

But, this year, while I am still unloading storage units, I really don’t have the same excuse. Yes, I still work 24/7, but life has slowed down a bit, and I could decorate if I took a notion. But, that’s the deal. I haven’t really taken a notion. So, I am actually asking myself the question this year, do I decorate when the kids are all grown and the grandkids are not coming to my house? Do I go to the trouble of sorting through boxes and running to Lowe’s for a tree stand? Or do I give myself permission to  skip it? Am I allowed the freedom to enjoy the reason for the season without dealing with the trappings for the season?

Here’s the bottom line. With a house full of kids, you’d have to be the biggest scrooge ever not to make Christmas Christmas. But living alone, well, it frees you up to do things differently. Hence my question of decorations or no?

No longer do I feel obligated to decorate, now the question is, do I want too? My friends say I am apathetic about it, but I don’t think so. I think by forgoing the bling of Christmas, my focus can be more on the reason, Jesus. I feel like, for the first time in forever, I can spend Advent pondering the coming of the Savior. The baby in the manager has my full attention, something that could never happen with little ones excited for Santa. Yes, I miss those days, but these days are precious too. I can sit by my fire in the evening and read aloud those wonderful passages from Isaiah, like Isaiah 9:6.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I am protective of this new Christmas of the heart. While my friends joke and prod, wanting me to “get in the mood,” I joke and say, THIS IS AS MERRY AS WE GET.  And truly, if you consider my dark house, wreath-less door, empty mantel and the missing pine smell, you might consider me a Scrooge. But, deep inside my heart it is warm, and the fires are burning with the contemplation of the coming Savior, and work is being done there as he tidies up and does his own decorating.