My Plain Tree

Three days ago, my mother and I tore up our house in order to find my little 4′ Walmart pre-lit Christmas tree. This search came after a comment from my roommate about wanting to decorate for Christmas. I’ve never really decorated my apartment for Christmas because I wasn’t there much during the holiday season and it seemed like a waste since my roommate leaves the first week of December and doesn’t get back until the first week of January.

But I couldn’t shake the thought from my head that a Christmas tree in my (favorite) college apartment would be nice. Plus, I’ll be in my college town for my
Christmas break while working and it might be nice to celebrate the holiday season, even by myself.

So, back to the rampage that was finding my Christmas tree. It wasn’t hard to find the tree itself. You know, these things live in very “tree-like” boxes. It was the ornaments that were a pain to find. We searched up and down, up and down, storage closet after storage closet, and even opened the “fall” and “Easter” boxes in order to track down these ornaments. My mom and I were frustrated and left clueless as to where these things could be! “Anna’s Christmas ornaments” we just know is how the box is labeled. Wherever that box may be.

With a two-hour drive hanging over us to get back to my apartment, we decided to leave the ornament finding behind. Besides, Christmas ornaments are everywhere this time of year (hello, consumerism). I got back to my apartment, Christmas tree in hand and ornaments left behind. I had decided to put up the tree Monday and go to Walmart to buy Christmas ornaments yesterday. However, the simplicity of my illuminating tree has kept me from going.

If you’re Christian, you probably recognize that we’re in a season of Advent: preparing for Christ’s birth. It’s trendy now to participate in Advent studies, and you better believe that I’m not going to be left out of that one. So, I have started my Sacred Holidays “He Is: The Attributes of God” study.

The very first day, Sunday, CEO + founder Becky Kiser wrote about God as light. We light five advent candles during the season (one each week) to remind us that God is light. John 1:4-5, 9 says:

“through the Word was life and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness and darkness does not extinguish the light. The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world.” (CEB)

We walk through so many dark times. Dark because we are sad or angry or frustrated. Dark because we cannot see where we are going or how we are getting there. Dark because we feel lonely or afraid. Our lives, really, could be filled with more darkness than anything if we thought about it.

christmasHowever, that’s not our life. Our lives include the light of Christ because he has come for us! He is the light of the world, illuminating things that we can’t see, sparking interest in things we think consume us. But this darkness in our lives doesn’t consume us. Christ steps in and helps to guide us on our way.

Becky writes, “My friend, God is light and His coming, which we celebrate at Christmas, brings light to us! As we learn about who He is each day, your world will brighten.”

I’ve been looking at my non-decorated Christmas tree, and you know what it reminds me of? The simplicity of light. The literal light in my dark living room in the morning. A physical reminder that even in the midst of the darkest time, light still shines through.

I decided to keep my little tree bare, leaving only the lights on it, shining through the whole Advent season, as a reminder for me to keep my Christmas simple and full of anticipation of my coming Light, the One who came to save us all.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

xo, anna.jpg

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