“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year” as the song goes. However, it is also the busiest time of the year. But I would say, Christmas is still my favorite time of the year. After all it is the season and time to celebrate and remember that our Lord Jesus came to earth as a Baby. He left His heavenly kingdom to come to earth as a helpless baby so He could live with us and become like one of us. Just imagine – the love of God came down from heaven to earth to save us. Matthew 1:21 says, “she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
As already mentioned, sometimes Christmas can be the busiest time of the year. It’s only today, New Year’s Eve, that I took time to sit and write this reflection. Better late than never! 😊 Like some of you, we keep our ornaments up for a week or so after Christmas Day. In my native country of the Philippines, we continue to celebrate Christmas until Epiphany/Three Kings’ Day (usually the first Sunday in January). As we prepare to undecorate and pack up the ornaments, I would like to take time to reflect on the real meaning of this Christmas season. In a day or two, our Christmas decorations will be folded up and packed away.
Actually, this year, we decided to have a real/live tree as opposed to the small/artificial pre-lit Christmas tree that we have used for several years. Our real/live Christmas tree is a small fir tree, only about 4 feet tall. However, each of the ornaments hanging on the branches of our fir tree represents some fun memories and precious people. It is almost like going down “memory lane.”
This ornament (photo above) is more than 50 years old! David made this little ornament when he was in kindergarten. His mom kept it all those years. It is a small bell, made from an egg carton.
Others are little bamboo ornaments from David’s time in Saipan.
Then, there is a little glass ball with the inscription “Saipan” on it. This is where David spent 18 years serving as a missionary engineer for FEBC Shortwave station.
Another is a flat bell with the inscription “The Creels – 1978” from David’s parents, a gift from church members when they were serving in the United Methodist church.
Then, there is an “Alaska” souvenir from David’s sister and her husband from their trip to Alaska in 2017.
Next, there is an “I believe” star ornament from our Church Sunday school Christmas party from a couple of years ago, along with other ornaments from the previous 5 years of Christmas parties.
Others are ornaments given by friends and neighbors through the years.
One of my favorites is a “Bethlehem” olive wood nativity scene. We acquired this ornament at the annual “Homestead Hollow” event in Springville, Alabama a few months ago.
For me, this ornament represents the simplicity and true meaning of Christmas – Mary and Joseph with Baby Jesus on the night when the God came down from heaven to earth. From eternity, He stepped into humanity.
As we all fold and pack up our Christmas trees and other ornaments, may the true meaning and spirit of Christmas remain in our hearts. Let’s remember in this Christmas season, throughout the coming year of 2020, and always that Jesus is still the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) since “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)