They pretty much go unnoticed all year long. They’re stacked in the back of the garage collecting dust. Usually over the course of the year, other items get stacked on top of them which help to conceal them even being there.

Oh, they’re there alright… Waiting patiently to test my patience. The tree to test my strength and endurance. The lights to test my balance and risk my life while rehanging them… I wonder how many strands of those lights won’t work this year?

Of course everything was working just fine when I carefully and neatly stacked them away last January, but somehow the ghost of Christmas decoration frustration spins his evil spell over all things mechanical and electrical.

I’ll wade into the garage to wage war yet another year with the Christmas decorations. There was a time the ugly face of frustration and anger was so great I didn’t go to war with the decorations. That ugly face of frustration and anger was mine…

In younger years, I didn’t realize it was a choice to be angry and frustrated, but that’s exactly what it is; a choice. Those are the years I used excuses to avoid fighting with the decorations, especially on the outside of the house.

“Are you gonna put up Christmas lights this year”? my wife would ask. “Aww-Geez Diane”!!! – “You know how busy I am right now”! – “For what”? – “I’ll just have to take em’ down in a few weeks”!!! These were my standard answers. Sometimes I’d add an, “I will if I get the time”! Whenever I said that, I never did find the time.

The war was lost on my part before I ever started. My lack of control and free will given by God, I chose not to use, or at least for the right cause. That’s an ugly trait to display, especially around the holidays. Those traits or things we avoid to save ourselves from any type of emotions that we don’t want to deal with, are grounded in the least desirable of all traits, by God and by us; selfishness.

With time, I did manage to come up with enough wisdom to make the correct choice, to do what others found magical. In that process, I also found the beauty in the celebration of the birth of Christ. What other endeavor could be more worthy of our time?

Today is the day. I once again prepare to do battle with the dusty boxes and all the family treasures that rest inside them. Each one has a special place in our family history. I know during the war with the Christmas decorations there will be some battles that I lose.

I’ll regroup, take a breath, restock supplies and ammunition, and return to win the war with the decorations the ghost of Christmas decorations have haunted. I look forward to the temporary finished product of the war of the decorations.

The lights and tree are temporary, reflective of our lives on this earth. So I’ll stand the tree, hang the lights, and keep proclaiming the truth of Christ and this season until He comes again.

As magical and elegant as those lights are on the outside, they are representative of the only true light that can never be extinguished inside of us; God himself.

Lets join together and shine our Light this Christmas season.

“Cover me”! – “I’m goin’ in”!