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It’s January 1st, 2014.  Welcome, 2014.  I’m excited for this year.  It kinda feels like it’s gonna be a good one.  Not because I know of anything particularly fantastic that’s happening, but because I feel different going into the new year than I have in a very long time.

I celebrated New Year’s Eve in style last night, with olliebollen (I love having Dutch friends!  It’s a New Year’s tradition I will gladly adopt as my own :) ), Mario Brothers, Mario Kart, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  I know, I’m almost 30.  I know, so are my friends.  I know… I celebrated New Year’s like a 12 year old.  But it was fantastic.  I loved it.

I got up this morning afternoon, and realized that unlike 2013, I should probably put Christmas away before Easter… I put most of it away!  I took all the decorations down after Christmas, but the tree is awkward and heavy, and it’s hard to put it away on my own, so I left it up, hoping that someone would help me…. I got so used to it being in the corner of my rec room in the basement that I kind of forgot it was there… until my parents came down to visit for Easter in March and THEY put it away because they were shocked that my tree was still up.  I didn’t want to do that this year.  I bought a pretty, new electric fireplace, and it needs to go about where the tree was.  Don’t ask me where the three’s going to go next Christmas ;)  But I digress.  I got up this afternoon and I put Christmas away.

But it’s my hope that even though the snowmen, the reindeer, the penguins, and the elves… which have nothing to do with what Christmas really means… even though they’re nestled back in their Rubbermaid bins, their tackle boxes, their copious piles of Kleenex, toilet paper, and paper towel… it’s my hope that what Christmas really means can stay alive in my heart even though I’ve put the visual evidence away.  Because really, the penguins, the elves, the reindeer, and the snowmen sitting on my landing and my hutch don’t mean anything about Jesus.  They don’t hold any meaning for my salvation; they just look pretty.

I want to keep the meaning of that baby Jesus who came to start His ministry season on Earth as an infant, becoming human so He could relate to us, and ultimately ending up dying on a Cross in the greatest love story of all time so that I could have a grace-filled relationship with He who sits at the right-hand side of His Father… He who sits.  Not stands, like the Priests before Him did.  He sits, because His work was finished with the Cross.

So while I’ve organized and boxed Christmas up in almost compulsive fashion….

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I don’t want to box up the true meaning of what Christmas means in my heart, and I certainly don’t want to leave it there for a year.  Christmas and its meaning shouldn’t come out of a box November 28th and go back in January 1st.  It needs to stay with me all year long.

The end.

Happy 2014!

 

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