As much as I love Christmas, I always keep it pretty simple. My goal is always to do as little as possible, while still keeping the ambience festive and joyful in our home. It’s easy to be a scrooge and not want to enjoy the beauty of the season because of all the work we take upon ourselves, but it’s also easy to become distracted by the glitter and shiny things and lose sight of our focus on Jesus, God’s gift to us and the reason we celebrate.
You might think as a home decor blogger I’d be in my element this time of year, bringing out all the decorations, setting up Pinterest-worthy vignettes, snapping all the photos and hosting all the Christmas parties. I do LOVE decorating and taking care of my home, it’s a blessing to create a warm home for my family and invite others in to connect and build friendships. I’m grateful every day for that gift. But when it comes to Christmas decor, too much holiday decor is actually overwhelming to me. I’m much happier with a few sprigs of greenery and lots of candles.
Our tree is one of the few places we put actual Christmas ornaments. We love the tradition of family memories – cutting down a tree and filling it with favorite ornaments. But no matter how carefully we choose our favorites, or how perfectly we hang them on the tree, or how lovely it looks in the photos, invariably our two dogs go crazy within days of my virtual Christmas House Tour and start destroying the decor! EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.
Right before our eyes, before Christmas morning even arrives, our beautiful tree starts to unravel.
You’d think I would know better by now than to trust a crazy pup in the presence of a decorated tree. Our first year with Jack he decided the Christmas tree was put inside for use as his own personal indoor plumbing; we watched him walk over to it and mark his territory. I’m not even kidding. The next year he completely tore all the ribbon and ran off with a starfish ornament in his mouth. Last year when our new pup Lily joined our family, they were double the trouble and chomped up several beautiful ornaments.
But this year I was certain they were more mature and trustworthy. As far as I could tell, they didn’t even notice all the adorable forest and sea-themed ornaments our family carefully hung on the tree the week before. So ironically on the morning I posted part two of my virtual Christmas tour on The Inspired Room, it happened. I left both of the dogs peacefully napping in our family room and went in to my office down the hall. Pretty soon my daughter and I heard a strange rustling coming from the family room. I ran to see what the commotion was and immediately called my daughter in to bring the camera and capture what I had just witnessed.
Before we could rescue it from the clutches of doom, an adorable felt deer ornament had been sacrificed by the furry paws and open jaws of two mischievous pups. The deer’s green felt body, stick antlers, and inner parts were scattered around the room, telltale little bits and pieces of his former self clinging to the dogs’ fur and lips. It was a sad sight.
It is a little silly, but as we stopped for a few moments of silence over the loss of that innocent little deer, we were so grateful for a symbolic reminder.
It is in the unraveling of this world that we are reminded where our true gift is found.
While we are blessed with beautiful things that bring us joy this season, the reality is all the beautiful things of this world are only temporary. Every single thing will unravel in time. There is only one hope for a rescue. By the gracious mercy of God, we are blessed by the one gift that will not be torn away from us, should we choose to receive it. Born on that Christmas morning in a humble manger, God’s precious Son was born to offer us the hope and joy of eternal life.
So even as all the sparkling glitter and wonder of Christmas lights up our homes over the next two weeks, will you join me in slowing down in humble gratitude and awe as we remember where our true gift is found?