Growing up in our house Christmas was a big deal. My dad would decorate outside while my mom decorated inside. She would have the tree and all of her decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. One of the things I loved to do was sit in our living room and gaze at the lights on the Christmas tree. It was incredibly calming and peaceful to me.
After my parents passed away (particularly my mom) several years ago, the holidays just haven’t been the same. I haven’t put up a Christmas tree or decorations in over 6 years. You see, grief is a funny thing. Just when you think you’ve got it beat it grabs you by the throat and nearly chokes the life out of you again. But something shifted this year. I woke up one morning last week and asked my husband to bring our Christmas tree in from storage. Looking at me in total disbelief he said, “Sure baby.” I’m certain he thought I would change my mind before the end of the day, and honestly I wasn’t so sure I wouldn’t either…but I didn’t.
When my son came home from school he nearly passed out at the sight of the tree in the middle of the living room floor waiting to be put together and decorated. He looked back and forth from me to the tree, then back to me with sheer delight in his eyes saying, “The Tree! We’re putting up the tree?” I simply responded, “Yes son, we’re putting up the tree.” And then he turned and skipped upstairs yelling, “THANK YOU JESUS!”
I laughed to myself and repeated his words, “Thank you Jesus.” We were thanking Him for different reasons. My son for the simple pleasure that having a Christmas tree in the house brings. Me, for the immense joy of being able to celebrate what this season is really about, the birth of our Savior, without the paralyzing pain of grief.
And this year, my home will be just a bit brighter with the twinkling lights from a Christmas tree. I’ll sit, I’ll gaze at the lights, and I’ll remember. I’ll remember my parents and I’ll remember that I’ll see them again all because of the One was born on Christmas Day.