Today’s the day the tree comes down. And the other decorations. Well, most of them. Some I leave up year round, like the nativities. I have a lovely pewter one my sister gave me that sits on top of my computer. I have several in the bedroom, mostly small ones, including the one, also pewter, that Grace Nolting gave me after I gasped when I saw it by a lamp in her living room on one of our visits to Joplin. I have one in the hall bathroom that’s displayed with shells and angels. Mummy bought it for me when we visited the churches with the frescoes. Oh, the angels stay out, too. Why pack away the angels? I decided a few years ago to start leaving these things out. It seems silly to have so many lovely, inspiring decorations packed in plastic tubs in the attic.

But the un-decorating has begun. Before I came downstairs, I removed Santa and the seven dwarfs from the shelf in our bathroom. “Why seven dwarfs?” you may ask. “Why not,” I reply. I found them for a dime each at the Sears Surplus Store years ago when we lived in Charlotte. I also bought Dallas Cowboys Raincoats there. We wore out the coats but still have the dwarfs. You see, it’s about the memories.

Memories are the stuff of life. They are what doesn’t move when you are six and Pam Tatum’s family moves. Pam didn’t say goodbye, and I never heard from her again. Same with Mike Pullium, only I was older. Mike was like our “other brother.” And then he was gone. But you can never loose your memories. No one can take them away. No one can steal them. No one. You can pack away into tubs those things that trigger memories and shove those tubs into the attic. This action is sad.

For me, Christmas is the time when those memories come down to dwell among us. Each ornament has its history and that history is my life. I love Christmas. Actually, I love my life (as in; I’m glad I’m the person I am). I can’t wait to decorate. Christmas is about the most important Birthday of them all: the birth of Jesus Who is the Savior and the Lord. When Emmanuel (God with Us) is honored each year at his birth, all my memories are alive and present. Some say we are all children at Christmas. True, and also we are ageless. Even those who have gone on to Glory are there. Who in his or her right mind would miss Christmas?

Christmas is not as commercial as the silly ones argue. It’s not about who celebrates how or if we say, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” or “Happy Holidays.” It’s not about who goes to what (or any) church. No, Christmas is too important to limit. It’s a birthday not a funeral. It’s party time complete with presents. It’s about eternal hope. That’s why my mother-in-law’s angel will remain on the record changer. That’s why I don’t fret if stores display Christmas trees at Halloween. Just the opposite: I love it. That’s why I’m leaving the kicking soldiers in the window sill of the window we never open.

Today I am un-decorating, packing away each memory with care as I wait for its joyous annual return, but I will leave the green doilies Mummy knitted on the speaker tops. How can Christmas come too early? I don’t have room to leave the nativity with the stable Daddy built on my dresser all year long. But watch this blog: Christmas is always coming. And if you don’t believe it – Bah Humbug! – why did you buy that wreath at 75% off?

EDIT: But the worse thing about un-decorating is all the dirt and dust you discover you have. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? 🙂