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Still mulling over the question,
“What looks different about the way I celebrate Christmas from the way of unbelievers’?” I truly mean the visible ‘packaging’ of my life.

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Time and generations collided last Saturday when my dear friend and I scheduled an afternoon to make fresh pine wreaths. We had never done this together; but Jane and her mom have honored this tradition for years.

Usually Jane’s dad takes the tractor and trailor to the pine grove in the back corner of their farm behind the pond. He collects generous boughs of white pine, blue spruce, and fir. He returns to his shop where a refrigerator cardboard box covers the pool table and creates the perfect work space.

After spreading a tarp on the cement floor the boughs were deposited awaiting their inspection and selection for the Christmas wreaths and window box sprays.

This year was different. Jane’s dad was called home to be with the Lord in September. I don’t think I could begin to understand the difficulty of that Saturday afternoon for Jane and her mom.

Jane and I took the tractor — well, Jane drove and I bounced around in the trailor. We forgot to lay the tarp on the floor, and Jane cut her own wooden frames for the window box pine sprays.

She probably didn’t realize how much she spoke of her dad that day while fresh-wreath1surrounded by his gentle reminders. His handwriting on jars of nails, projects waiting on the workbench, tools that he touched, catching a shadow of him bending over the saw. The memories flooded her mind and poured over into our conversation.

Jane’s mom brought us a tray of tuna salad on her homemade rolls and coffee ; I saw myself slipping into another generation. I chuckled because that has always been a sign of old age to me — I am sure you have seen them . . .

. . . a couple of grey-haired seniors sitting in McDonald’s eating a hamburger and sipping on a cup of black coffee. Last Saturday, that was me  — a tuna sandwich, a couple of chips, and a cup of coffee. It was pure delight.

It was a day I will always remember. 

Through the window  . . . the snow beginning to fall, 

inside . . . the scent of cut pine boughs lingering in the workshop; and

on the work table . . . the natural beauty of fresh pine wreaths.

In the midst of remembering the past and creating new memories we celebrated the simple gifts of friendship and family each in our own way.

The day really had little to do with Christmas: remembering and anticipating the birth of Christ; yet had everything to do with choosing to love and serve people over the tinsel and glitter of the world.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the  most of your time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 15:15,16

“We are to make the most of our time on this evil earth in fulfilling God’s purposes, lining up every opportunity for useful worship and service.”
John MacArthur Study Notes

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I think I found one answer to my question,
one thing that makes us different from the unbelieving world is how we
choose to use our time, especially during this season.

An excellent post from More Books and Things on this very topic.

see how others are Living Simply Saturdays

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