To you, it might look like any other Christmas-decoration snapshot posted on social media. We scroll through and see what others are doing in their homes, and we might click on a few to let people know they did a great job.
But I think the photos we share with others—or simply keep to ourselves—have a lot less to do with the decorations themselves and more to do with the sense of warmth we experience in our homes because of the decorations and what they mean to us.
Perhaps it’s the memories surrounding Christmas. Even though I’ve never celebrated a Christmas in this house, past celebrations and the anticipation of future celebrations still provide me with warmth. Perhaps some memories are bittersweet. My family has gone through seismic shifts the past several years, and I still feel as if we are on shaky ground at times (or maybe it’s just me), but the tenacity and faith through it all creates a warmth and strength in me and my home.
The warmth I feel in this photo isn’t about my life being perfect and smooth. It’s not about everything being exactly where and how I want it. It includes the struggle to get to where I am. It includes the ongoing decisions I make to try one more time, to have the patience and hard conversations to go deeper in relationships with the people I love, to give generously even when it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable, and to live every day of the year in a way that seeks to honor God.
The photo I snapped of a corner of my living room isn’t a snapshot of perfection at all. It’s a snapshot of a moment in the journey. The journey isn’t filled with beautiful moments, but it’s still a beautiful journey. Not because of how I decorate for Christmas but because of how God has continually revealed Christmas to me.