Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tradition's new look

9:27 p.m. Today's project was to pick up the Christmas tree I'd selected with my daughter Heidi and her husband Pavel. We'd be headed to Sandhaven Pines tree farm after they finished with their 3rd service children's church class. That gave me plenty of time to visit with Steve and head home to continue shredding, chopping, seasoning and stirring the ingredients for the taco salad I was bringing to Home Fellowship. 

The tree farm was really busy, because they were hosting a family day with lots of food and activities.  Kids were everywhere while the workers cut down trees for their parents. When we arrived, I was directed to a table in the reserved section, they looked me up, and a young man was sent to go cut down the tree. Heidi and Pavel caught up with me so they could see the the tree as it was still in the ground. Selecting the tree alone on a quiet weekday was not too sad, but it would have felt lonely as a single wanderere in such a family atmosphere as was there today. Wasn't the Lord good to clear schedules to provide family companionship? Jesus said to us in Matthew 6:8,

Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

At the house the three of us, or rather Pavel and Heidi, set about cutting a small wedge off of the tree's trunk with his flip-close saw. The dogs enjoyed watching.

We were soon joined by expectant parents Nick and Heather, who then added their thoughts and comments about the tree:

Into the house the slim but well-shaped tree went, and we stopped for a picture when it seemed to be straight, with its best face forward. Nothing like the exacting opinions about the tree's position--"is it tilting?" "No, push it away from the wall," "How do you want the lights on?" to let you know that the family is into this tradition!
Heather, however, had a much larger vision in mind, to decorate the banister with fake pine boughs, lights and poinsettias. So she did, plus putting the stocking holders on the fireplace mantle.     

Pavel played with the dogs for a while, and the rest of us looked for buried treasure in the newly clean garage. We also put ornaments on the dining room table for placement. Nick re-routed the long extension cord to make it more convenient to plug in my outside Christmas Lights. They are now shining brightly! I love to think of the Bethlehem Star that announced Jeus' birth when I see Christmas lights!
But this gathering had its flaws: With more notice, I would have had the old movie "It's a Wonderful Life" playing, hot cider ready, or hot chocolate (which I did make for Pavel and me). Preparations for the Home Fellowship meal  continued, and I began asking for help to load the crock pot full of taco meat, cheese, chips, onions, lettuce and chopped tomato (dicing courtesy Heather) into the Jeep. I ran upstairs to change and left at the same time as Heidi and Pavel, who also had a Home Fellowship to attend.
My day had been so wonderful! My kids, now grown with busy careers and ministries of their own, took time out to keep me from struggling alone in brightening my home for Christmas. In doing that, they could relive their childhood through the ornaments they made for me when their hands were little. In giving me a gift of their time, they were inspired by the Lord, James 1:17:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is is from above,  and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  
Praise the Lord!!

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