For as long as I can remember, I have not been a fan of the holiday season. For me, this is kinda strange because I loved Christmas time as a kid. I loved the lights, the gawdy yard decorations, the food and especially my family. Yet for some strange reason, my move to Georgia about 13 years ago sullied my love for the holidays.
I could never put my finger on what is was that kept me from fully enjoying all that came with the holidays. I was far from being a Grinch but I didn’t see myself enjoying it as much as other people did. Every year, I put up the tree, the kids and I would watch all the Christmas movies and cartoons we could find, and drive through neighborhoods to see all the lights. Even though the kids loved all the festivities, I just could not get my Christmas spirit up.
Until last year.
Because I threw away my beautiful Christmas tree and decorations.
Every year, I put my Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving (respect the turkey, people). A few days before D-Day (decoration day) I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea that I needed to throw away my Christmas tree. You see, the very Christmas tree I put every year was given to me YEARS ago by an ex boyfriend’s mom. Even the decorations I put up every year had been given to me by her. Now for a broke single mom, not having to go out and buy a tree and decorations was GREAT so I gladly accepted the beautiful artificial tree and decor.
It was right then in the middle of the night that I realized that every year since I started putting up that tree, I have not enjoyed the Christmas season. Don’t get me wrong, there have been so many beautiful memories made over the years. Yet, it was something about that having that tree in my house that just seemed to hinder my heart from being full of joy. I am far from pining over the end of that relationship but perhaps it was just the fact that the tree was a fixture from a period of my life when I was so far from God. I don’t hold on to mementos from old relationships but it didn’t dawn on me that this huge tree that I decorated every year was in deed a token from a chapter in my life that has ended.
The very next day, I bought new tree and all new decorations and put what was old on the curb. I had more joy decorating my little tree than I ever did laboring over the huge tree that was given to me. This year, I had to contain myself from putting my tree up in on November 1 because I am genuinely excited about this season. As off kilter as it sounds, I believe it was God who spoke to me late one night last year and instructed me to throw away my tree. Perhaps, He knew that in order for me to love this season again, I needed to get rid of somethings. I needed to make sure that my life was not being cluttered with the past so that there is ample room for what He has to bring in the future. I am well aware that the Christmas season is not about trees, presents or decorations. It’s about celebrating the birth of my beloved Savior. Yet, I do believe that God cares about the little details in our lives and loves to see our hearts full of happiness and joy. He adores me enough to long for me to recapture this small part of my life that once brought me such joy. My happiness ravishes His heart as it should any doting father. That’s the kind of relationship He and I have and I am thankful that He care enough about the little things like me falling in love with Christmas again.
Even if it meant throwing away a Christmas tree.