Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mine has a star because that's how the wise men found Jesus

Eternal Life
I've got some thoughts rambling around in my head about celebrations and holidays and Christmas, and i don't really have them all formed and ready, so i'm just going to sort of let them spill out.  If you're into that kind of thing, keep reading.

My recent thoughts on this subject were inspired by noticing what sort of things end up on the tops of Christmas trees.  I've seen snowmen and angels and Christmas trees (Christmas trees on top of Christmas trees is just funny!) and Santa Clauses and Mrs. Clauses and giant ribbon bows and some sort of squirrelly sparkly sticky uppy decoration that my cousin-in-law uses and teddy bears and stars......the list goes on.

This is my niece and nephew's
My husband reminds me from time to time, that i did not have an average childhood.  One of the aspects of my different-from-average childhood is that our home never housed a Christmas tree, at least not as far back as i can remember.  This rebellion against modern tradition was a result of my dad's recognition of the Christmas tree as an originally pagan symbol.  Before i go on, let me just say that i have a great deal of respect for my dad and his strict adherence to purity in holiday celebrations.  I don't entirely follow his view on all of them, but most of them have come with me into my adult paradigm.  The way that those anti-traditions imprinted on my particular brain, i'm not sure is exactly the same.  What settled most in my way of living and celebrating is that i am heavy on the analysis of what exactly i am celebrating and how my celebration honors what is celebrated.  (Wow.  That was really celebrate heavy.)

For some reason, this star
reminds me of sheep and
In my minimal knowledge of Jewish tradition, i have noticed that it is common to honor God by what is on top of some thing or other, i.e., on the tops of their heads... Orthodox Jewish men wear tiny hats on their heads to remind them that God is above them.  And if there is any credibility to the information in a movie i recently saw (i told you my knowledge of Jewish tradition was minimal), they also are known to write a phrase at the top of each page of a composition which gives credit for their ability to create, to God.  Similarly, the apostle, Paul, advised that we should not make predictions about what we will do in the future, without acknowledging God with our words..."if the Lord wills, we will do this or that."  This, i believe, was not so much an admonition that nothing happens without God's will, but a statement of surrender of man's will to God's.

This was handed down
from my mother-in-law's
In that spirit, it seems important to me what i put on top of a tree in my home, which is meant to represent Christmas, the celebration of the coming of Christ as a baby human child in the earth, who would pay the price to redeem the souls of humanity from the constraints of sin and to offer them eternal peace with God.

And here's the important part:  if the celebration does not indicate what or whom is celebrated, then what exactly are we doing?  I don't want to erect a tree that represents eternal life, in honor of materialism or fancy meals or pretty lights.  I definitely don't want to make my celebration in honor of the image of a non-existent miracle toy maker, the recognition of whom has become troublingly overimportant to some.  I want  whatever i have displayed to remind me of what i'm celebrating - just in case i get distracted.  Because, this time of year, it is really really easy to get distracted.  I want my symbol of eternal life to be topped with something that represents the One who gave us eternal life.  And i think this makes the difference between whether the Christmas tree in your house really is just an extension of a pagan tradition, or a celebration of God.

I used to LOVE these little
angel maids characters.
Which brings me to one more thing.  Does anyone know what the word "holiday" means anymore?  It is a simple combination of the words, "holy" and "day."  And that's why i don't use the greeting, "Happy Holidays."  It's really important to me that my words mean something, and i celebrate one holy day this time of year.  It's Christmas.  I'm not upset at anyone else for whatever greeting they use (i'm not really one to jump on that bus, just as long as no one gives me grief for whatever greeting i use).  But mine will be a little more specific than "Happy Holidays."

My hubby made this wreath from
vines in our yard, and i put stuff
on it.
Well, that's all i feel like spilling right now.  Please, no one read this as a condemnation of yours or anyone else's Christmas tree.  But if you, by reading this bit, find that your Christmas tree, or more specifically, your Christmas, could use another yamaka or two, then i'm happy to be of influence.
I made this one in 2nd grade.

May God bless you and yours with all of His love, life, peace, and joy, every single day of the year, and also on these days when we specifically rejoice in God's love, which was the cause for His sending Jesus to the earth.


My grandma made this.
We're really thankful to
 live in Texas.  LOL!

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