About a week ago, my husband and I were preparing to depart for our holiday block leave road trip that would take us from Fort Benning, Georgia to South Dakota to Kansas and back. Our car was loaded down, ready to depart early the next morning. Our refrigerator was completely bare so we could reduce the possibility of growing penicillin in it while we were running amuck. Thus, we went out for a quick supper and on our way home, I decided I wanted to peruse through the neighborhood and check out the Christmas lights.
Some people in our neighborhood went all out for Christmas. Inflatable Santas, Frostys and Rudolphs bounced in front yards. Icicle lights sparkled and multicolored light glowed. Trellis and porch decorations were abundant. I was impressed.
I continued to drive (which probably wasn't the safest decision, as I was much more interested in gawking at the Christmas lights than my husband) and I kept commenting on the decor. We didn't do any outside decorating on our house mainly because 1) We weren't going to be home for the holidays 2) We didn't own the supplies necessary and 3) I sure as heck wasn't hanging that stuff up by myself as my husband was rather occupied with his job. (Something about training future soldiers to defend America took take priority over Christmas lights. Scoff ;-)
We drove around for about 15 minutes in our neighborhood, guessing who might "win" the yard decorating contest and living vicariously through their glowing decor. Suddenly Brandon said, "Hey, do you know what? I didn't see one nativity scene in all those yards."
I stopped the car, right in the middle of our street. He was right! Not only was I surprised at that revelation, but I also was shocked I didn't realize it at all until he brought it up. Huh.
Before you get all riled up, I am not about to get all up on a soapbox and preach about the rumors of Santa Claus' existence or how anyone who mentions him is in the wrong. I am 26 years old and still get gifts from Santa... and our future kids will be getting gifts from Santa Claus as well.
Brandon and I joked about our "decoration" strategy for next year... I said we should get a live nativity scene, complete with camels and sheep to set up in our yard. He agreed and said he could get some of the trainees/privates to pose as Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and Wise Men. He could force them to stand in our yard for 6 weeks. Or he said we could just spell JESUS in our grass in Christmas lights.
We laughed. It was awesome. But obviously that revelation about the nativity scene (or lack thereof) stuck with me.
Do we really take time to remember why we celebrate this holiday? I know it sounds cliche-y, but we gotta remember the real reason for the season: That baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago. And that baby wouldn't have had any impact on us had it not been for the Cross. We have been set free-- all because of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection!
It's not about the gifts, the awesome food, the lights, ornaments, snow (or lack thereof), cheesy movies or men in red suits with excessive facial hair.
It is about our Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus... And thanks for being the true reason for the season!
Partying it up for Baby Jesus,
"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:9-11