We took down all of our Christmas decorations yesterday…it’s a task I approach with a sense of dread. I absolutely adore Christmas, and once it’s over, I generally go into a bit of a decline. I tried to cheer myself by creating a new display on the living room mantel and and baking some treats. Still, I couldn’t help but rue the end of the season as I tackled the tedious task of vacuuming stray pine needles.
When I came downstairs this morning, I surveyed the sum of our efforts. The house was completely set to rights…freshly vacuumed carpets, cleared counters, tidy rooms. It all felt strangely empty, devoid of the richness and magic of the season. I thought to myself, “It’s almost as Christmas never happened at all.”
I wondered, as I sipped my coffee, if the inkeepers might have felt this same way after the very first Christmas. When Mary and Joseph, along with their tiny King, left the premises (along with the other unexpected visitors~), the inkeepers must have had to clean out the stable, create some order and return to their routine. I wonder if, while raking hay, they looked at each other and wondered, “Did that really happen?”
As I pondered this, I was thankful for the heady scent of pine that still hung in the air (one of the benefits of vacuuming dried needles!) Though intangible, it is proof that Christmas DID happen. It was here. He was here.
And He is with us still.
I wish you a pine-scented new year.