The tree

IMG_7019We went to buy a Christmas tree from THE florist shop that carries trees this time of year.  They put out a few artificial trees with many bright blinking lights.  There are not many ornaments to choose from, but many gigantic Santa heads for your liking to mount in your window, on your door or…..heck, I am not sure what they think we would do with  huge Santa heads!!   The children were all enthralled with the 6 foot dancing, saxaphone playing Santa.  I must admit I found it pretty amusing myself.  The store owner’s son, about 11 years old, found us amusing.  He followed us around the store practicing his English and even walked three blocks with us toward our bus stop!

As a whole Christmas is not celebrated here which is why Santa heads can be found, but no nativity scenes.  I have found misprint Christmas cards made by Hallmark at the supermarket, wreaths with Merry Christmas in spanish, and many of our students asked us when we would hang the children’s gifts on a tree (what? not sure where they got that idea!)   Hubby also joked after the university Christmas party that included a white elephant gift exchange that somehow his least favorite holiday tradition/game has followed us across the world!!  How his colleagues had heard of this holiday game, but have never heard of the birth of JC is unfathomable!  Folks know about Christmas from the movies and many young people will go out to eat on Christmas eve with friends, but there is a lot of confusion about the holiday in general.  But to be frank, isn’t there a lot of confusion about the holiday in the States.  Shopping, decorating, baking (and family drama, if we are being honest) often are in the forefront of December rather than the true Christmas story.

One look around the floral shop turned Christmas and any thoughts of a perfect Christmas tree flew directly out of my brain.  As I type this, our puny tree has four sets of  LED lights, all white, but with different blinking patterns.  Actually, it is perfect – a perfect way to keep the holiday in perspective for myself.  It is about celebrating the amazing gift of JC not about perfectly executed traditions.

In the next week and a half we will be having many opportunities to share about Christmas.  We would appreciate your thoughts and pr@yers.  Open house with students where we will be decorating cookies and reading the story, local friends joining us at our home for Christmas baking…and the story, Hubby sharing about the true meaning of the holiday in his classes – it is going to be a week packed full of sharing.  We are pr@ying for soft hearts and open ears.

We are lifting you up as well – that your holiday is blessed with many ways to keep the birth JC in perspective and that you also have opportunities to share the true meaning of the holiday.

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