Just Christmas

The Christmas season seems short this year. Thanksgiving was late and Advent is 24 days this year which is kind of in the middle of length for Advent seasons. It just seems like we are about one Christmas party away from the long, gray months of January and February.

Lisa was on top of things and ordered a very nice Advent calendar which has helped a lot. This is the good kind of Advent calendar with verses from the story of Christmas. The Holiday train is on it’s way too which is a nice tradition that reminds me I need to wake-up and remember the meaning for the season.

So what is the meaning of Christmas? Well I would say it is love. God loved us so much that he sent his son to be among us so that he could suffer for our sins on the cross. I have thought about gift-giving over the years and have decided that perhaps it is our way of following God’s example. Our gifts are not as great as His however to give something as a symbol of love for one-another seems like a good thing to do. When this premise is taken to extremes however, it loses its’ meaning. It then just becomes a reason to indulge without thought or purpose.

I do need certain activities to kick-start Christmas. I put up the tree and Lisa decorated it which really helped. It seems like every year more lights fail on our tree, yet Lisa has been able to move them around and make it work.  I quit trying to fix the lights a few years back however I did purchase a new string last year. After the tree is up, we circle it with a few little model trains which makes me nostalgic.

One thing that really got me in the Christmas mood was our stray cat, Telly. Telly is not a Christmas visitor however he is a visitor and it is Christmas so that’s close enough. We have finally convinced Telly to live on our porch away from the wind in a heated house. He also has warm water to drink and a constant supply of food. These are gifts we get to give him which make us feel good. I think when we give freely, it is an act of love and that feels pretty good.

The one Christmas tradition we haven’t enjoyed yet is mixed nuts. I don’t know why I get nostalgic for mixed nuts at Christmas as I never liked them when I was young. My mom always set out mixed nuts in a bowl shaped like a nut with a nutcracker and little picks. I’m not sure anyone ever ate them so it’s possible the same variety mix, and I, celebrated together all 18 Christmases of my youth. Dad must have eaten some, if for no other reason than to cleanse his palate of lutefisk.

Christmas will soon be here, dig-in and enjoy it-celebrate the birthday and enjoy your traditions. Merry Christmas.

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