Packing up Christmas

Trappings and Treasures
Friday Rich and I visited a local store. Days earlier, displays of gift wrap, tinsel, and ornaments had overwhelmed the store’s prime selling space. Now, clerks were busily condensing the remains of their Christmas merchandise onto a few shelves near the back of the store. A sign read, “Christmas! Final Clearance!”

I heard a small boy say to his mother, “Look! They’re putting away Christmas!”

It’s kind of funny, when you think about it: We spend money–sometimes a lot of money–on the baubles and sparkles to adorn our homes with Christmas decorations. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the trappings that we miss the treasure of Christmas.

And the treasure of Christmas never goes on clearance, because although it’s priceless, Someone Else paid the price. For you and me, the treasure of Christmas is free.

Sunday Rich and I put away the trappings of Christmas at our house. Rich carefully packed away the nativity figures; I wrapped tree ornaments in protective paper and nestled them back into their boxes.  We stripped garland from the staircase and removed the stockings from the mantel.

We broke one ornament. It seems that each year, one ornament dives to our hardwood floor and shatters. Trappings can be fragile.

In a few hours, our home had been transformed back into its “usual” state. You couldn’t see a sign of Christmas anywhere.

But you could feel it. 
My hope for this year is that the treasures of Christmas will remain palpable to us through all the seasons on the calendar.

That we’ll remember, and give thanks, for that precious Baby sent to earth for us even when no china figurine of Jesus graces our living room.

That we’ll glow with love and faith without the twinking lights of a Christmas tree.

That we’ll remember that the treasure, unlike the trappings, is tough–so tough it can carry us through whatever the new year may bring.

14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:14 (NASB)


  1. We’ve put away most of the stuff of Christmas (our Nativity set stays out until tomorrow, Jan 6, Epiphany), but you make a good point. I hope the truth of God incarnate–Immanuel, God with us–stays fresh all year.

  2. I love the idea of keeping the Nativity up until Epiphany (I think we have 3 Nativities, all told…). I will have to remember that for this year.

    Thanks for coming by, Ann!

  3. What a fascinating post. As I put away decorations this week, I’ll be reflectin in my heart on this concept of putting away the Christ child

  4. Thanks, Dave.