Tomorrow is Epiphany which means that the official Christmas season is coming to a close. I did not get my tree up until much later than usual this year, so I have been thoroughly enjoying the season after December 25. In fact, I think my favorite time of year might now be those days right after Christmas Day when the pace slows, and I have time to try out new recipes, read books that interest me, look at the lights on my tree, go to movies at the cheap theater (and eat popcorn) and putter around in my house.
But, it always makes me a little sad how quickly my neighborhood takes down its decorations. Of course, they put them up before Thanksgiving, but still, it seems a shame to pack everything up so quickly. I mean, what better way to ring in the New Year than to still have tangible reminders around your home that the light does indeed shine in the darkness?
So, over the weekend, I was driving home after dark feeling a little glum that Christmas had already been boxed up for next year. Then, I saw it. The inflatable red M & M - glowing, moving a little bit in the breeze, and just being festive. Yes, I know that inflatables can be tacky, but you know, I believe that Baby Jesus would really have enjoyed that big M & M. Smiling and waving around in the darkness.
And, I thought, "We still have cheer. We still have joy. And, I am thankful for this big M & M to remind me." This year, I think I'll look for those reminders all year long...the places where God's love meets our cheer...and even our sadness. They might come in the official holy places like church. But, they might show up in inflatable yard decor. One thing is certain, I will smile every time I open a bag of M & M's.