Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Are You Looking At?

Well, the Millers finally have a Christmas tree.  I can report, though, that the people, who wait until December 8 to shop for their live trees, will go home with ones that are not without their flaws.  I walked through the tree lot and looked around at all the rejects of those who'd shopped from November 27-December 7.  I asked the nice tree man if they had any others that could've been stashed away in the back and he just chuckled under his breath and assured me that I was looking at the best they had to offer.  He twirled a few around for me as I struggled to find one that would work.  The plight of the unsung Christmas tree salesman is not one that should be underestimated or overlooked.  I imagine spinning trees around for indecisive women all day is one of those jobs associated with a high incidence of alcohol abuse and frequent urges to step in out front of a bus.

The tree lot on December 8 is a lot like the island of misfit toys.  You just have to pick your poison.  Would you prefer a broken top, a sparse, scraggly bottom, brown needles, or a hole big enough for Santa to walk through?  I had to go with the hole.....hoping I could remedy the problem with placement, ribbon, and angles.

The tree hasn't drunk a drop since we brought it home.  I think, having not been chosen for so long along with the other ugly trees, that it had convinced itself that it would be in the burn pile on Christmas and had lost all its hope, given up, and quit taking nourishment.  Whatever the reason for its refusal to drink, we paid $80 for this soon to be dehydrated fire hazard, brought it home, set it in a bucket of water, and hooked it up to electricity.  That's sounds safe, right? 

I also put the cards in the mail today.  Mercy.  That. Is. A. Job.  We could almost all load up in the car in our Christmas clothes, drive to every house on our list, and wish each one a "Merry Christmas" in person with considerably less trouble than it is to complete the Christmas card process from beginning to end.    

I bought the last gift on my list today.  All of the presents are wrapped......I just have to make the bows.  Blair's coming home tomorrow, so I've been planning what I'll have ready for supper when she gets home.  Carson has exams coming up and projects due and a lot of basketball games and practices before Christmas.  We're busy, busy, busy at the store.  We've got a full weekend of parties and programs and gatherings.  And next week.....well, it's just as full as this one.   
I may be just a little stressed.  Monday night before my hair cut appointment on Tuesday, I dreamed that they found lice in my hair while I was getting it cut.  Forget the visions of sugarplums dancing and all that hoopla.  I'm over here with dreams of head lice and forgetting I'm on the tour of homes until I see people coming up on my porch with tickets in their hands.  I think it may be safe to say that I have a lot of inner Christmas stress that I'm trying to sort out in my dreams.

While I was getting out our big nativity set to put on the foyer table, I was quickly setting them in place so I could send the empty box back up to the attic with Davis.  I got busy doing other things and came back to the nativity later to finish it.  I noticed that the way that I'd hurriedly placed the wise men on the table....they weren't even looking at baby Jesus.  The myrrh guy was staring over at the Christmas tree.  The frankincense man was looking into the dining room...probably wondering when I was going to get around to decorating the dining table.  And the fellow with the gold......well, he was gazing out the window.....he must have seen his reflection in the glass and was checking to see if his crown was on straight. 

In my simple, third grade level mind, I thought that's just how we get at Christmas.  We've got our eyes on sparkly things and lists and dates and obligations........and ourselves.  There's always one more gift to buy.  One more table to decorate.  One more address to find.  One more party to attend.  One more person to visit.  One more dish to make.  And there we are...........looking everywhere except where we should be looking. 

I don't want to be like my ceramic wise men.  Looking off at other things.  Distracted.  Oblivious to the One of most importance, who is right there under my nose. 

It's HIS birthday.  It's HIS gift that I should be honoring.  It's HIS sacrifice that I should thinking of.  The fact that He left heaven and took on our fragile form and endured our cruel world, so that we could have a chance to be that He could sympathize with our struggles......that's where our eyes should be.
My friend, Jean, shared this video on Facebook.  (For some reason, this isn't not showing up on some mobile devices)  I'm normally partial to classic, traditional songs, but this is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard.  It's what Christmas is all about. 

It's time to redirect my gaze. 


  1. Hey - you have all the presents wrapped. Congrats to you. But you do realize that they sell Bows already made? Of course, I realize who I'm responding to so forgive me for that. ;-) Nice perspective Joni. And a card will be on the way to you guys shortly. Haven't done them in a couple of years but was able to get them done this year and will have then out shortly. Merry Christmas, HAILSTATE, and Happy New Year; in that order.

    1. You'll get it all done, Charlie! I have full confidence in you! Can't wait to see the girl's picture! So proud of the job you're doing with them. :)

  2. A great reminder! Love your perspective from the Nativity scene!

  3. I shared this video on my blog too! I love it and yes, it puts the focus on what we should be focused on at this time of year!

    I just can't imagine how busy you are at work! I'm sure you're doing beautiful work thereby helping others to beautify their homes, etc.

    Enjoy having your girl home. Mine comes home on the 19th! Yay!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much, Deanna! Merry Christmas to you and yours!! And isn't that song wonderful!!??!!!

  4. Your nativity King looks beautiful. Yes, especially this year, more on Him. To many health issues with family and friends. So I'm more mindful and as I get older, I look at things differently too. But I still love my Charlie Brown since the 60s when I was a kid. Still a magical time for all. Take care, Kathleen in Az

  5. May all our hearts and eyes be turned toward Him this season and all year long. Merry Christmas, Joni!

  6. Loved your depiction of what the wise men were doing in your nativity. My husband and I are always moving the nativity characters around as we each have our own idea of where they should be placed in the scene. So now your blog post has sparked an idea for this year...I think I might purposely place the wise men similar to what you described in your rushed nativity placement...that will really get to my husband. Hee Hee.

    And this might sound like a really stupid question...but I'm a complete technology idiot. I loved that song, "Hallelujah Christmas", but can't seem to find a way to purchase this song in CD or digital format. Any ideas on where I can find this? :)

    Thanks for your continues to make me laugh and nod my head in complete agreement.