It isn’t over. The true reason, is never over. But eventually at least some of the decorations need be put away. That is what I began doing today. Storing away the trappings only.
It was turning into a very nice day, the temperatures comfortable. I figured I’d not have a better day to take care of what I needed to accomplish. Going up to the storage building I began carrying plastic storage boxes down to the house. Two of the largest boxes were for the tree, yes, it takes two ginormous boxes to hold that thing. Taking the boxes for the decorations inside I began removing everything from the tree. Have I mentioned that tree is huge? A huge tree holds lots of ornaments.
When I finally got everything but the lights off, I began dismantling the tree. For some reason unknown even to me, I didn’t remove the lights first. I just moved the strands out of the way as I removed each row of limbs. Finally as I reached the last row I was able to pull the lights up and off and drop them into a box as a lump of lights and wire. I’ll regret that later.
I didn’t do what I normally do and duct tape the boxes closed. Because I’m out of duct tape, that stuff is super handy. I hope to remember to buy more when I go tot he store so I can tape them up, otherwise I may just regret it later.
Carrying two more smaller boxes inside I began packing away the stuff that was on the tables and counter. The manger scene I had painted myself years before my son was born, carefully wrapped and placed in a way for less stress. I don’t want to open that box next year and find any damage. Then the Santa ceramics I had painted, angels, and tall, goblet style, candle holders, each went into the box. Carefully wrapped, packed with materials placed around them to hold them secure.
The house was beginning to look empty.
Outside I organized the boxes. Setting those that needed to go back to the building to one side and those waiting on the lights and outside stuff to the other. My son came out and helped get everything back to the building, and stacked carefully in place. Then he got the building closed up securely.
Outside, the lights are still on the house and on the bushes that line my drive. My front porch is also well lit, though some of those lights will remain even after the rest are packed away. The wreaths I had made years ago were a struggle to get off the house. My son got one and I the other. They were packed away, the larger one I will take off the door later. They aren’t fancy and elaborate, but they turned out well enough for my first and last attempts.
The season though, is not over. No matter what day you celebrate. No matter whether you celebration is different. The celebration is not the decorations. It is not the gifts. It is not the meals. It is not the shopping or parties. Even as I packed away each item, I recognized this. That I was not packing away Christmas. I was packing away the human trappings.
Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of the birth of Jesus. Christmas, is honoring that great sacrifice and love. Christmas, yet one more thing that has become commercialized, it is still recognized by the faithful for what it is meant to be. Jesus the Christ, born of a virgin, come to earth as a fully human, fully God. He grew, dealing with all a child would deal with. He lived and faced all that man faced from the day to day to the temptations of sin. He taught, he healed, he showed by living example, how we should live. How we should love.
And no matter how much I pack away, I will never pack away that knowledge. The reason for the season, God..loves..me. Not just me, but everyone. There is no one we will pass, that God does not love. Realizing that, we should remember to treat each other with more kindness, compassion, love.