Take down the tree... its over!

For years it became the joke in our house that by midnight on December 25th, our tree was down, the ornaments were put away, the Christmas placemat were in the box, the Christmas cards were tucked in the basket, and toys and new clothes were distributed to their appropriate homes.

Christmas was over - back to normal, enough needles picked up from the floor (even from our artificial tree) for another year. 

In typical fashion Frank began putting away the tree and all the fixins' late on December 26th this year.  When I returned, I was a bit taken aback.  Oh no, we need that tree - my family is coming this weekend... how can we sit around and open gifts without the glistening lights and family ornaments that encompass our tree?  It was a bit of a dilemma...  I had a few additional errands to take care of, and most of you can guess what my sweet guy did.  When I returned, the tree was back in place with all 726 ornaments in tact.  :)  Well, not quite that many, but it is close.

I was so very appreciative and thankful, reminding him that he didn't "have to" do that, but we both knew I was hoping and even expecting that he would.

So after this weekend, it will all be put away a second time...  What will stay with us?  I have toyed with the idea of leaving one angelic ornament or one favorite decoration out all year.  What would I choose and why? 

If you continue reading The Story in Luke 2, (we usually stop at verse 20 when the shepherds left glorifying God) He (Luke) takes us along with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem to offer Jesus to God 'as commanded' in the temple. 

Simeon was there; he had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.  He knew when he took Jesus in his arms and began a tender oration about who the Messiah was including a blessing with the reality of coming pain for Jesus.

One translation says Mary and Joseph were speechless with surprise; another says they marveled at what was said to them; one adds they were amazed and in wonder.

Speechless is not often an adjective that would be used to describe me, but in this quiet morning moment, I will join Mary and Joseph to simply sit in amazement at this Savior of our world... Who promises to walk before, beside and behind.... even me.  Which ornament might I leave out this year - how about this one - the posture of Mary; quietly, tenderly with hope bowing in prayer..  May that be my posture for the coming year...

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