>Operation Christmas Clean Up


all of our hands holding
the most precious gift this Christmas

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Tis’ the season to be jolly,

Oh, but Christmas Eve came.
Christmas Day arrived.
And then its the next morning – and all the hustle and bustle
all the baking, all the preparations that went into making it the “perfect”
Christmas is over – in less than a 24-36 hour period.

I usually leave my Christmas tree up until New Years Day then take down all the decorations that afternoon and evening.  Sadly, packing them away until next year, when all the tubs come back up and the inside of the house
starts twinkling with white lights, the house smelling like Christmas cookies, and carols all day long.  Its the time of year I love!  However, this year, I woke up the next day and thought, its time to clean up, get organize and get moving!  My husband was quite surprise as the roles are usually reversed.. he is ready to pack up and move on and I just want to sit and bask in the last moments of the season.  Not this year.  Something really hit me.  Matter of fact it was words that my husband spoke in his last Sunday’s message (Dec.26th/ Click here to listen) He said, “For a Christian, Christmas isn’t just a day, Christmas is an experience.”  Those words tossed to and fro in my mind and jolted in my mouth as I chewed them before swallowing and allowed them to sink into my belly and nestle there.  Christmas isn’t just a season, either, I thought.  While the decorations come down and get tucked into the basement for storage, Christmas goes on day in and day out.  See that precious baby came in a time of silence… there had not been a message heard from God in 400 years (the time between the old and new testament), but one night, one appointed night, a virgin woman gave birth to a baby, and the baby’s cry broke the silence.  There wasn’t a parade announcing this birth, there wasn’t a banner blinking and tickets being sold, but nonetheless, God doing things in HIS WAY, not ours, sent a baby to be born – to be raised and then crucified- because he LOVED us.  Selah.

See, the season of Christmas reigns in our hearts, resides in our soul.  He is with us always, never leaving or forsaking.. he gave the ultimate gift, His life. So, while the houses lose their seasonal decorations, while we pack stuff away and put our houses back in order, may the spirit of Christmas continue to be in our hearts and  be on our lips so that we can give the gift that keeps on giving… Jesus.  He is the perfect gift to re-gift.

I am actually considering leaving my manager scene up all year as a reminder, that Jesus isn’t a birthday to celebrate once a year at Christmas, but something that we can celebrate daily.  I want to engrave in my heart and mind, my children’s hearts and minds that his birth broke the silence, his birth was the beginning of the ultimate love letter that signed off on the cross.  May the manger scene remind us he is the reason for all seasons… may God’s gift to us always be in the forefront of our minds and the gift in our hearts that we continue to share.


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