Well, Christmas 2019 is finally history at the Fischer household. Christmas 2019 is now closed up tightly in boxes on our front porch. Nine boxes, to be exact. Hard to believe all that beauty and all those memories can scrunch down into 9 boxes and sit there so quietly … secretly … carefully concealing everything inside for the next 11 months.
Christmas was especially hard to take down this time both physically and emotionally. Marti said she had compassion on me for the first time, not realizing what a job it was. Of course I’m trying to be tough and eschew any sympathy coming my way. But I was hurting. Up, down, up, down, up, down. We have a tradition of getting a big tree because we have the ceiling for it, and that means up and down a ladder many times to get the ornaments down and unstring the lights. And then, the tree’s so big I have to use an electric chain saw to cut it up into pieces so I can get it out of the house.
And then the ornaments have to be individually wrapped in soft paper towels and packed in tin boxes so they will last. It’s worth it. We still have “Baby’s First Christmas” for Christopher from 1979. Forty years. And every year we get one or two new ones.
It was especially hard emotionally because we had such a perfect tree this year. It almost looked artificial, it was so perfect. I swear I heard choirs sing the first time I saw it. Chandler and I had narrowed it down to two “okay” trees when we saw it. It was like a scene from a movie. When I first laid eyes on this tree, all the other trees moved back, a bright light shown down from heaven and an angelic choir broke into the chorus of “Hallelujah!” I couldn’t believe that no one had picked it yet. It even had a slight bluish-silver tint to its needles that made it stand out even more. Every year we say the tree couldn’t be more perfect, except that this year, it was true.
Christmas is unique this way. When else do we box up memories and wait for them to come spilling out a year later? Nothing quite alters our lives like Christmas. Jesus has seen to that — at least that part of Christmas we didn’t make up; that part that celebrates His coming. And now that we have celebrated His coming, it’s time to get down to living like He’s here. Because He is.