Do I need decorations and lights to get into the Christmas “spirit”?

That’s the strange question that came to my mind this past Saturday morning as I pondered whether or not that would be the day I’d haul out the boxes of garland and lights and the pre-lit fake tree. I sat at my dining room table and looked out into the living room that has looked basically the same since I took down the Christmas decorations last January.

It’s even harder to get into a holiday mood here in Florida where the temperature is a balmy 80 degrees and the holiday sweaters will make you do just that – sweat.

I wrote last week that I wanted to reflect more about the expectation of the coming of the Messiah, and that I wanted to be reminded of the longing of the world before that baby arrived in Bethlehem after years and years and years of waiting for Him.

So maybe an undecorated living room two weeks before Christmas is the way to really do that. Maybe we need a December equivalent of Good Friday. Maybe we need a day to think about the darkness of a world without the Light before we get the warm fuzzies from ornaments and wreaths and songs about mangers.

If your house doesn’t have its tinsel and lights yet, if your kitchen doesn’t smell like gingerbread and you haven’t gotten out your holiday sweater, it may actually be a good thing. It may be that God is giving you the chance to experience a few moments of sensory quiet to think about how dark it was before the Father of lights sent that baby to Bethlehem.

And then when the decoration boxes finally do come out and the music is loudly proclaiming “Joy to The World” and the kitchen smells like all things good, maybe it will mean more because you let the undecorated days give you the Christmas spirit too.

I did.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

… the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Isaiah 60:19

That was the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the world. John 1:9