For the past 7 years, I have served as the Children’s Director at my church. It was a wonderful job that ranged in responsibilities from Sunday morning children’s services to large-scale neighborhood events. Christmas was a particularly busy time, as you can imagine, and so for the past 7 years I have not decorated my house for the holidays. Not even a tree. The children’s musical along with an early December neighborhood event meant that my days were really packed beginning in November and all the way through Christmas eve. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it meant that I had to give up some things.
Now let me be clear. I placed great value in what I was doing with the kids and their families and didn’t for one minute regret that my house was plain for the holidays. Some years it was a pleasant relief to have such a great excuse for why our abode wasn’t decked out with boughs of holly. And I certainly wasn’t going to kill myself and be sick for most of January by trying to accomplish it all.
But this year is different. I will be dragging out the boxes of ornaments and tinsel, my Santa and snowman collections, my special fake tree with only dog ornaments (forgone conclusion, huh?) and decorating away. I will also be taking part with a group of folks when we go and sing Christmas carols at some local rest homes. I will be able to enjoy what the kids present this year without all the stress. I might even dust off my list of 25 Christmas movies and watch one each night starting on Dec 1st.
I think sometimes committing to change is also about looking back on favored traditions and reviving them. Taking the old, giving it a little spit and polish and enjoying it in the present. And I think it means instituting some new changes as well. Don’t know what those are yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
“Just need to be clear. We don’t wear reindeer antlers, elf hats or anything that lights up. We do like treats in our stockings, a brand new Nylabone on Christmas morning and a fresh sleeve of tennis balls. As while you’re ‘instituting new changes’, how about those dog beds you’ve been promising?”