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Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Christmas Tree

This year, I have seriously reconsidered Christmas decorations. Not that I consider anything wrong with them. Not at all. But it is different living here in a third world country. Many of the people we mix with don't even have a single Christmas decoration, let alone a Christmas tree; that would be considered a luxury. In that light, to put up all my decorations would seem to me to be over indulgence. So, simple it is. And it is nice. We only have 4 small decorated spots in our house this year. 1) the tree, 2) the window sill - the stockings are hung there, 3) the table centerpiece has a small glass nativity and 4) the shelf in our entry way has an arrangement of cards, another nativity and a bunch of mistletoe and some other small Christmas paraphernalia.

Simple is good.

Christmas trees. I like them. Especially Noble Douglas Fir Christmas trees. The ones with the branches kind of spaced apart... well, I never have seen a fake one. But if I do, I'll want it. Putting together a fake tree is not quite the same experience as traversing the wild with dear friends and family, out in the biting cold to choose and cut down your very own... those are memories and dreams. But if the tree can't be a Noble, it has to be a skinny tree. I like skinny trees. Tall if possible. Of course, for us to bring it down here to Peru it had to be NOT tall. It had to fit in a box that meet standard airline requirements for measurement and weight. I digress. Well, without further ado, here's our tree: ahem... and as Mya would say...


The kids put it together, lighted and decorated it ALL by themselves,
and I can truthfully say that I only redistributed the ornaments hung by Miss Mya
this year,
(she delicately put all 6 of hers on one branch).

Next to the tree, we have another most loved Christmas treasure, our collection of Christmas story books. Mostly picture books since we've been a family with little kids until only recently (I have been informed that my two eldest are now big kids). This of all the Christmas items, is THE most captivating to all, big and small. Who can resist the sentimentality of the stories that we only get to read one time of year? Gotta love books.

We're reading Mary's First Christmas at bedtime this week with the littlest, and Advent Foretold with everybody at meal time. Very different, both good.

Despite the fact that temperatures are in the 90s every day and it doesn't feel much like Christmas in that way, we are very much enjoying this time of remembering Christ, come as a baby. Immanuel. God WITH us. ABSOLUTELY astounding. Perhaps living here and celebrating simply has helped us to see in a real and tangible way Christ's own coming in humility and simplicity. From heaven to a stable. From angels to shepherds. From worshipers to those who were his own and received him not. Wisdom unsearchable, God, the invisible; love indestructible in frailty appears... Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity, kneels in humility and washes our feet. O what a mystery, meekness and majesty!

Bow down and worship, for this is your God.

This coming week separate time to stop, sit down and truly savor the sweetness of our Savior!


Deedee said...

Beautiful Amy! They did a great job. :o) I can't imagine a hot Christmas. It must be strange. It is neat to see Spanish Christmas books in your basket. My boys ar taking Spanish lessons at the moment and starting to enjoy them. They did a Spanish Christmas word book from Enchanted learning this week in school and they are going to sing Feliz Navidad at Church today. Merry Christmas!

Jeanne said...

Ah yes - we have a 'Basket of Delights' too. One book a day for the 24 days of advent. Fun!

What's so strange about a hot Christmas, eh!! Sounds pretty normal to me.

Merry Christmas, Amy!

Catherine said...

Hi Amy. I agree that simple is good! I love the picture of the basket of books by the tree - that's something I'm planning to have in place by next Christmas. We always have an artificial tree, partly because 'Christmas' trees don't go on sale here in Russia until after the 20th - they're really 'New Year' trees. I do miss the smell of a real tree, though. Happy Christmas for 2012!

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