BEFORE YOU TAKE DOWN THE TREE

Another Christmas season has come and gone and now it’s time to get ready for a new year. We’ve listened to all of our favorite Holiday tunes and watched all kinds of Christmas movies for several weeks. But now it’s time to get out all of those green, red and clear tote boxes and start the breaking down process and store everything until this time next year. WAIT! HOLD ON! I want to tell you something before you take down the Christmas tree. I know you’re anxious to pack everything up, but keep the lights shining on the tree for just another moment.

The Christmas season is such a special time of the year and as soon as the tree is taken down, it will all be over. So, before you do that, take a minute and remember some things about this year that were so wonderful.

Before you take it down, do you remember the day you put it up? What inspired you to get the tree out and start decorating? Maybe it was your child’s first Christmas and you couldn’t wait to see how they would react to all of the lights. If you’re like us, then one of your kids started bringing stuff out of the garage, without your knowledge, and just began to put it up. Oh it was a mess for a little while, but do you remember once it was finally complete and your house, no matter how big or small, looked like a beautiful Christmas village.

Before you take down the tree, don’t forget the look on the faces of everyone when they opened their gifts. That priceless smile and those eyes lighting up as your child screams…”THAT’S WHAT I WANTED”!!! They run and hug you and say “THANK YOU”!!! All of a sudden, nothing else matters. As parents start putting all of the wrapping paper in trash bags, the kids start putting on their new pajamas and start playing with everything they just opened. Nerf darts start flying through the air. The sound of war is coming from one of the bedrooms as your son is on a “Call Of Duty” and is part of the special “Black Ops”. While one kid is playing a new guitar, another one is putting those new hot curlers in her hair. Oh it’s quite a scene and whatever you do, cherish those memories.

Before you take down the tree, remember your kids are another year older and they may not ask for the same kind of presents next year. In fact, your son or daughter can change so much in just one year. You could be buying clothes this year and looking at a car for them next year. Hold on to the memories of who they are now, because it doesn’t last long enough. Store the memories and the year this Christmas season represents. Next year they will be taller, they will even sound different and for some, your baby boy or baby girl will be in college. What did you all do this past year? Where did you go on vacation? What was the birthday themes? These things are important to think about before you take down the tree.

Take some time to be thankful for the family members you still have in your life. A parent or grandparent can go through a lot of changes in just a year. As I’m writing this blog, I’m looking at our Christmas tree and remembering my grandmother, who has had a difficult year. Time and age is taking her mind, but I remember just a few months ago when she was herself and we had some great conversations. I’m not sure what this next year will bring, but I’m thankful for the memories I have of her this year.

My wife and I are so blessed to have wonderful parents that we are extremely close to. Although this has been a very challenging year for both sets, we have made some awesome memories together. I not only enjoy the memories I have with them, but some of my favorite ones are how much my kids love being around them. It makes me so happy to see how excited they get when they find out Nana and Papaw Dean or Mamaw Joyce and Papaw Spencer are coming to town. They’ve had a great year of memories with them this year.

Last, but not least, before you take down the tree, take a moment and remember how much emphasis is placed on Jesus during this season. Movies, songs and plays all promote His birth. During the Christmas season, it’s mentioned everyday. Isn’t it amazing how things go better when Jesus is at the center of everything? Maybe while you’re taking down your decorations, when you get to the nativity scene, pause for a moment and commit to telling this story over and over again throughout the next year. Don’t wait until you unpack a Christmas box to think about the birth of Jesus.

Oh, there is one more thing. If you suffered the loss of someone that you loved this past year, I’d like to remind you of something. When we celebrate Christmas, we’re not just celebrating the birth of Jesus, but we are celebrating His life, His death and His resurrection. The reason Jesus came was so He could save us from our sins and one day bring us to where He is. On Christmas we rejoice because He came to us, but there will come a day when we go to Him. Just imagine how incredible that day is going to be when we see our loved ones and we behold the Lamb of God that died for our sins. That’s right…go ahead and think about that for a moment, BEFORE YOU TAKE DOWN THE TREE.

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