Wednesday, December 2, 2009
*Singing in a Chipmunk voice* Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer..."
I'll save the Alvin and the Chipmunks reunion tour for later...for now I will instead just ramble on about whatever comes flying into my brain...cause that usually how I operate...
Seriously, it is now officially Christmas time at the Hawthorne house. Now there has been long a debate in our home over the family Christmas tree. Many of you will laugh, but it is a serious conversation that comes up several times a year and usually results in one of us saying to the other "you're a retard". (In the most loving manner possible, I assure you) My husband INSISTS on having a live Christmas tree every year. He claims that an artificial tree is fake and that he will not have "fake Christmas" because then we would be required to have fake presents, fake Christmas dinner and the like. I prefer the "fake" tree because it doesn't require constant attention to ensure our house doesn't burn to the ground (and that's the way I've always done it). The argument usually includes testimonies to the benefits of each person's preferred tree as well as insults to the other person's preferred tree. Including my favorite, the artificial tree always looks good from any angle, but a real one always has a "bad side" and there have been years when the bad side has been all the way around. I'm all for lookin' good. We have, however, come to an understanding that if Mr. Smartypants is here to retrieve and help decorate the tree, we will have a real one. If he is deployed I will put up the artificial one.
This year, the argument took a new turn. We are getting to go to Texas for Christmas (yee haw!!!) and will be gone for a couple of weeks (thank you Uncle Sam for inventing Christmas Exodus at TRADOC bases all over the Armed Forces). This created a problem. Being gone so long meant that a real tree would not survive our vacation and our house might burn down while we were gone. My husband's solution? Don't put one up at all. Huh??? Can we say "Bah Humbug". A tree must go up. We argued (nicely, I promise) about the tree for several days, debating the reasons we needed a tree up even though we were gonna be gone as well as the reasons we shouldn't bother. If you look at the picture, you can tell who won. He even gave in and let me put up the artificial tree (probably because I made the point we would have to take down the real one the night before we left town). Please know that I gave him the option of having his "real" tree.
Now some of you might argue that Mr. Smartypants was right all along and we shouldn't even bother. But let me leave you with this thought:
Christmas isn't just about one day. Christmas is a season where we prepare ourselves for one day. The one day is to celebrate. Not a day of food and presents and Santa Claus, but one day to celebrate a Birthday. THE birthday. HIS birthday. The Christmas season is another word for Advent, or a time to prepare for a coming of a King. Whether you celebrate HIS birthday or celebrate a chance to feast with family and friends, each symbol of the holiday gives us that warm fuzzy that only comes this time of year. Each warm fuzzy puts us in a better spirit, and makes us want to give and share with others. This is one time of year when we, without thinking, put others before ourselves. Is this not the spirit of Christ in us, as much as the spirit of Christmas? So take time to stare at your Christmas tree for that warm fuzzy, then use the warm fuzzy to remember why we have Christmas in the first place, and then put that warm fuzzy to action by giving (your time, your money or your talents) to spread not just Christmas cheer, but Christ Himself.