Paul's Passing Thoughts

Belated Thoughts On Christmas: “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 14, 2012

December 1, 2011

I’m full of anticipation.  Today is the day that we will clean the house and I will begin to put up the Christmas decorations. Please take note of the two pronouns we and I in the previously written sentence.   Originally, the anticipation was just me, myself, and I. In our new home, it appears that I am singular in feeling absolutely juvenile and crazy about Christmas.  Not store bought Christmas, but my way of celebrating Christmas. What a surprise when Paul woke me up early with coffee and announced: “After the house is cleaned, I’ll help you with the decorations.” Shut my mouth and call me speechless!

In my first marriage to Wayne, we had Christmas secrets, allowed Christmas lies, Christmas hiding places, and Christmas traditions were brought from our two families, as well as many we created ourselves. Some rules about Christmas were made up on the spot, but there were two rules that never changed:  Christmas doesn’t happen until the house is clean, and if you find the Christmas hiding places and see your presents before Christmas Day, you cannot play with them until January 25th.  My three boys who are now 24, 21, and 15 had great joy telling Paul’s son how they worked the whole Christmas scenario. You find the hiding places but keep your mouth shut.  Then on Christmas Day you give an Oscar winning performance to Mom and Dad expressing extreme happiness and surprise.

House cleaning ended up being just the living room where the Christmas presents were located.  How they cleaned their own rooms is a story in itself.   One Christmas, I worked so hard at finding Christmas hiding places I forgot where I hid the stocking stuffers. I came across them accidentally a few months later.  They became Easter basket surprises.

The one tradition I particularly love and will keep on doing until the day I die, or the Lord returns, is the selecting of Christmas ornaments.  Every year I find a Christmas ornament for each family member that reflects a special accomplishment, event, or quirky thing that happened that year.  For example, one year Ben was fascinated with wolves. I made curtains for his bedroom from a wolf print fabric. He had wolf wall paper, and had “adopted” a wolf and had its poster on the wall of his room.  A beautiful Belgian handcrafted wolf head ornament was found at an out of the way shop in Beavercreek. Every year we find that special spot on the tree for the wolf and repeat the many funny and sentimental stories about Ben’s love for wolves.  It was my oldest son, Tim’s delight to ask for his ornaments last Christmas to decorate the first tree he and his new bride would have.  I have to say, there were so many ornaments they may have to get a bigger tree in the future.   (I have their special ornament for this year ready to be wrapped.)

So, in the midst of the yawns and “here we go again” comments, what’s all of this hoop-la about, any way?  Well, friends it’s about remembering and anticipation, two very biblical concepts.  In the Old Testament when a significant event happened, a memorial was erected. The feasts and special days were established as memorials, remembering what God had done, and also as anticipatory celebrations, looking forward to what God was going to do for the nation of Israel.  The animal sacrifice requirements were set into practice in order to help His people remember their sinfulness, their total dependency upon Jehovah, and to create an anticipation for the coming Messiah/Redeemer.

My way of celebrating Christmas can be compared to the celebrating of the feasts and memorials in the Old Testament—remembering and anticipation.  As the ornaments are hung years of memories unfold.  Not all of the memories are happy ones. There are sad and lonely memories, hopeful as well as hopeless ones.  But it causes me to remember His faithfulness throughout the years. It fills my heart with anticipation. I look ahead to what He is going to do for us tomorrow and throughout this coming year. I anticipate His blessings and His return.  The ornaments I hang and decorations I arrange are my memorials of remembrance and anticipation. I hope your Christmas will be a truly memorable one and the New Year is full of anticipation for you and your family!  susan

Post Script:

It’s Beginning to Still Look a Lot Like Christmas!

January 12, 2012

Here it is almost the middle of January and all of our Christmas decorations are still up! Paul wants me to keep them up until at least February.  He claims that he is going to make plans for elaborate outdoor decorations for next year! What a change from when were still dating during Christmas last year and I couldn’t get any help or enthusiasm about the holidays. I really don’t mind the decorations still being up, but elaborate outdoor decorations are up for lots of negotiation.    


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