A snowy Saturday seemed the perfect time to turn up the Christmas music and trim the tree. Of course that meant digging through the detritus of my basement for ornaments and lights, tinsel and trimmings.
"It would be a great idea to somehow identify the contents of each of these identical large tubs," I thought to myself after pulling down yet another large, heavy, and identical blue tote from its shelf above my head, only to find out it held craft supplies, not holiday bows.
A never-ending home renovation project means that not only do I have a jam-packed basement storage area, but also windows without casing, door frames without doors, and walls without art. Placing my tree, adorned with a decades-worth of careful purchases of mercury glass, blown glass ornaments and crystal gewgaws, in the midst of the chaos that is my home, is a bit like putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig.
But, after a few hours of humming along to the holiday tunes, arranging and rearranging the ornaments, and plugging in the beautiful tree, I really didn't mind the mess. And, I found that if you turn the lights down low, by the twinkling white lights of the tree, the work in progress of my home faded neatly into the background.
That's what Christmas does, it puts the focus on the good, shining a light on the real things of beauty and importance in our lives.
While decorating the tree, I realized once again that it's the journey to Christmas that is so special, not just a single over-packed, over-caffeinated day. We remember the real reason for the season, and try to live our lives in honor of that. I want to take the time to enjoy a last, precious year with my son at home for the season. I want to worry less about finding a "perfect" gift, and remind those I love of the gift they are in my life.
I will make less varieties of cookies and candy and instead make the ones I enjoy, and the ones that take me back to happy days as a child.
So many wonderful holiday programs and events are on tap here in Northwest Iowa. Instead of staying at home and ensuring that every bow on every gift is perfect, I want to enjoy these events. Tonic Sol-fa is coming to the Clay County Regional Event Center on Saturday night. With their beautiful harmonies, it promises to be an enjoyable, toe-tapping night of music.
And also at the Event Center, next Tuesday, are the country classics, The Oak Ridge Boys. "Elvira" and "O Holy Night" in one evening of music? That sounds like a don't miss event! Tickets are still available for both top-notch events at the box office or online at Ticketmaster.
A smile is a gift you give yourself, and those around you. I vow to smile more this holiday season. Frowns cause wrinkles and, at my age wrinkles have a way of finding me anyhow, so I'd best not help them set up shop on my face!
I want to give up the worry, and open my heart to the joy of this season.
I worry a lot. About loved ones, about work, about the state of the world. A wise friend and mentor always reminded me of Philippians 4:6 and God's admonition to trust in Him and to give thanks to Him.
The holiday season is a good time to remember that verse - to worry about nothing and pray about everything. And, above all to give thanks.
I give thanks that 85 area families will have a happier Christmas thanks to all of you who opened your hearts and your wallets to give in our Holiday Family Adoption Program. We will be having our first drop-off day this Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. - 12 noon at The Depot building at the Clay County Fairgrounds.