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God’s Party

December 31, 2011

Last month, we put together a last-minute garage sale.  I put a bunch of Christmas decorations in the sale.  We have acquired way too many of them over the past 10 years.  On the night before the sale, Jackson took his grandma out to the garage to see all of the stuff that we had set out.  He said to her, “Look, it’s God’s party!”  What he was referring to was the fact that we had Christmas decorations out.  I have never referred to Christmas as “God’s party”.  We have, however, often referred to it as Jesus’ birthday.  So, Jackson took some liberties with that and decided to coin the phrase, “God’s party”.  The more I have thought about that, the more I love it.

Here we are now, at the end of “God’s party” for this year.  Of course, it’s true that we can and should keep the joy of Christmas with us all year long……..the significance of Christ’s birth isn’t a seasonal significance.  But, the physical celebration is coming to an end.  The outward, communal celebration is winding down.  The whirlwind of family gatherings will soon stop.  The “lifted spirits” are beginning to droop a bit.  The radio stations who have prided themselves on playing non-stop Christmas music have already switched back to old play lists.  Shopping for gifts is over.  Tasty treats have been consumed….. and now reside comfortably along our waistlines.  The beautiful decorations are coming down and going into storage until next year.

Rarely is it fun to see a party come to an end.

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated “Elf Night” with some friends and family.  After all of Sidney’s little friends had left, I saw her sitting in our living room with tears on her face.  I asked her what was wrong.  She simply said this.  “I don’t like endings.”  Boy, isn’t that the truth.  At least, for me, it is.  I can think of so many “endings” in my life that have brought me to tears, too.  I can remember being very sad as a child, too, when the Christmas celebration would come to a close each year.  (Aw, heck, who am I kidding?  I still get bummed.  But, the sadness isn’t nearly as deep as it was back then.)

My guess is that when Sidney discovers that we are taking down our decorations tomorrow, she will be sad.  She is a tender-hearted, nostalgic little thing.  I have no idea who she got that from.  It’s one of life’s great mysteries, if you ask me ; )  Jackson and Grace will probably be sad, too.  They have really, really enjoyed celebrating Christmas this year.  There were so many times this season when I audibly whispered to myself to take it all in…….to bottle up the moments and commit them to memory.  I loved watching ALL of them celebrate this year.  I guess that’s yet another reason why I’m a bit bummed to see “God’s party” come to a close.

All that being said, I am encouraged – just as I am every year – by the fact that the party will resume again soon.  We get to do all of this again before long.  I’m sure I will be encouraging my children with those words in the days to come.

The party will soon return……and, as always, we will be ready and eager to attend.

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