Our family tradition of putting up a tree every Christmas has come to an end.
It was a tradition I began when I Tony and I had our son #1 in the 70s. It seemed like the right thing to do, a creative expression of sorts. Year after year, I would have a different motif which took me the whole year to dream up and the whole day to put up.
I know all about its pagan origins and why it is not necessary to celebrate the birth of our Messiah, but I enjoyed the activity. Perhaps because my long-time househelp, Manang Vi, would nag me about our yearly and all-day ritual.
This year, however, there is no Manang Vi. She passed on last month, and it feels like we have lost not only a tree enthusiast but a family member who shared our traditions.
“I don’t think I will put up a tree this Christmas,” I thought aloud.
“Good idea,” Tony immediately replied, solving my indecision.
I skipped telling son #1 and son #3, because from my observation over the years (since they reached the age of enlightenment), they are no longer Christmas tree fans.
Another good idea was the announcement by our church’s youth pastor: “We are raising funds for the December Youth Camp out of town. If you want to get rid of your junks, we’d be glad to pick them up.”
It was an ideal time to visit our storeroom, which had been under the exclusive jurisdiction of Manang Vi.
I needed a face mask to protect me from years of dust covering old suitcases, golf clubs, bowling balls, paintings, baskets, knick-knacks, plaques, equipment, trophies, plus all other unrecognizable doodads—and my Christmas tree and heaps of Christmas decors!
With the help of Bonna, Manang Vi’s former adjutant, and who is now trying super hard to fill in Super V’s shoes; and Sammy, driver of son #3, I packed 75% of the storeroom’s denizens for our church's youth fund drive. After thorough cleaning, the once jam-packed room might have said, “What a relief!”
What to do with the Christmas tree and old decors? Plenty. Just twist, cut, shred, combine, separate, and mutilate—with no theme in mind.
Fund for the youth: almost there.
Grace for the home: much more than we deserve.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)