This past week we set up our Christmas decorations at our house like many of you probably did as well. It’s that time of year, and it always makes me happy. The process of hauling it all out is tedious, however it is also heartwarming. Packing it all up in January, however, not so heartwarming. I will admit that some years it doesn’t come down until February or March. Yes, I’m “that” guy in your neighborhood. But not every year!
Regardless of my emotional state when removing them after the New Year, the decorating process is always fun. Over time we have stepped up our decoration game. In the beginning of the Emma/Alex/Stanley family we had a very sad little Christmas set-up in our 600 square-foot Chicago apartment. Here’s a picture from Stanley’s first Christmas, with our matching apartment sized mini tree:
We have since graduated to a full size tree to match our now full size dog.
One thing that Emma pointed out this year is that our tree looks very different, not only in size but in style. Last year we had the full size tree but it was filled with store bought, matching ornaments. It was beautiful and looked like something straight out of a coffee table magazine.
This year was different. Between last Christmas and this one, we received tons of family ornaments from both of our parents. Apparently everyone decided that we had been married long enough to inherit our childhood ornaments, plus many others that were pawned off on us.
So this year we didn’t put up hardly any of the matching ornaments, and instead our tree is littered with a smattering of different ornaments, most of which have a ton of sentimental meaning to us both. I was put in charge of decorating the tree, but I only got as far as placing these 5 ornaments when I was removed from this duty on the charge of “insufficient maturity” in my decorating choices. I don’t see any issues do you?
I mean, what else do you need after Star Wars and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks?
After these fine choices I was demoted to hanging the exterior lights around the house. It’s a good thing Emma is here or there’s no telling what this house would look like. She’s always been the smart one. And the pretty one. And the talented one. But I brought the Star Wars ornaments, the beard growing ability and the bad jokes. She really hit the marital jackpot with me.
Anyhow, after Emma noted that we had made a drastic shift this year to a tree predominately filled with sentimental, non-matching ornaments, it made me even happier. Christmas trees are always pretty, but when they are adorned with sentimentality and memories, it brings a stronger meaning than even the most pristinely decorated tree could ever achieve. Sure some of them are tacky and some are broken and held together with glue, but that’s what the church is like too.
As the body of Christ we are like this tree. We have some tacky ones in our midst and most of us are broken and held together with glue, but together we make a more beautiful tree than could ever be achieved if we were all shiny and “perfect.”
I hope you have a tacky and memory-filled tree as well, and I hope you know just how much more beautiful our Church is because of you and all of your homemade, pretty, ugly and pretty ugly wonderfulness.
Have a wonderful week my friends, and Happy Advent!