A Christmas Past

I originally wrote this for a church choir newsletter in the year 2000.  I think it is still relevant today and hope that you do too!

I'm writing this to confess.  I didn't put up a Christmas tree last year and I don't intend to put one up this year either.  I know what you are thinking.  What kind of a grinch doesn't decorate a tree?  Let me explain.

It all began around this time last year during a routine visit to the vet.  Our adorable hound dog puppy, Zoey, was seven months old at the time and very much exhibited the joie de vivre that only hound dog pups can.  After several minutes of maneuvers that looked like something from a World Federation wrestling match, Dr. Jim looked at me and said,  "You aren't thinking of putting up a tree this year, are you?"  It was really more a statement than a question.  Not wanting to appear ignorant in puppy raising protocol I replied,  "Oh, of course not."

On the way home I pondered how to break the news to family and friends.  My husband took it really well.  He figured he'd just escaped all those tangled strings of lights!

After I had made the decision, all of a sudden I began to sense this feeling of relief.  Gone was the pressure of scheduling time to get all the boxes out and unpack them.  Gone was mess that accompanies a "real" tree, and gone was the problem of trying to decide whether to spend a large sum of money on a new artificial one.

But I had to do something!  I got my nativity set out of storage and placed it in the living room.  I also put some greenery with twinkle lights on the front of the house and placed a few candles about and voila!  It was simple but satisfying.

And you know, Christmas came just the same.  Cookies were baked. Parties were attended.  Choir programs were performed and worship services were held.  Gifts were purchased and exchanged.  Visits were made with family and cards caught us up with friends far and wide.

Another grinch once observed,  "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!" And he puzzled three hours till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  "Maybe Christmas," he thought, " doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" ( Dr. Seuss, 1957)

We all know what that "little bit more" is all about.  It's  not the glam and the glitz.  It's not trees and lights.  It's all about the birth of a tiny baby long, long ago in Bethlehem. 

Merry Christmas!

That's all for now.
Check back later.


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