So the pastor that I work with is obsessed with decorating. Outdoor lights galore, three trees at home, decorations in his office. And I'm pretty much the other extreme. Let's just say I'm a minimalist. I do have some indoor decorations at home, half of which are up because by the time Easter rolled around last year and they were still up, I decided to embrace it and leave them up all year. We don't yet have a Christmas tree and even discussed whether or not to get one. But since we are hosting Christmas for my husband's family this year, we decided we should put one up. I've been thinking a lot about this and wondering if I'm a scrooge or what.
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve decorating the house for Christmas--music coming from the 8-track player (particularly Silver Bells and All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth), the smell of cookies baking, pulling out the boxes of ornaments and telling the story of each as we put them on the tree, often in pairs (one set for my sister and one set for me).
So, when I think about these memories, I realize that the reason decorations aren't a priority for me is that I have no desire to do them alone. It's something that I want to do with others, with those I love, with people who care about the memories of the ornaments, or appreciate the sappy, silly, or cheesy Christmas songs playing. As much as I love my husband, this isn't something that he seems to care about. If I want to decorate, the response is "whatever you want" or "go ahead." Not good enough, not worth it. Christmas will come; Christ will be born. I'll get to celebrate at worship, singing Silent Night by candlelight and this year I'll even get to preach, to proclaim Christ again among us. That's better than trees and lights and ornaments.