For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
I started collecting Hallmark Christmas ornaments in my teens. I bought them even before the company marketed them as collectible. Since they were babies, I also bought them for my boys. We have so many ornaments that they fill up over two dozen large plastic bins and an entire closet. I readily confess that they are my one (well my main one) addiction. I have entirely too many to display them all each year even though I put up more than one tree. So, I choose a theme, animals, automobiles, trucks, Santa Claus, nativity or any of the other of the myriad types in my collection. This year, I have one tree with all animals on it, another with horses and one with a sampling of the different sets. One thing has never changed, however. I like my favorites to go in the front of the tree. When my oldest was little, I tried to convince him that the back of the tree was the best place for his very ugly Star Trek space ships. We put the tree in the corner of our living room where it can be seen from two windows, one on each wall. I told him that if they were in the back, people from outside could see them. He never did buy it and for many years, I stared at a many different varioations of the USS Enterprise. Since they also plug in and speak, whenever we turned on the Christmas lights Mr. Spock greeted us by saying, “Live Long and Prosper”. This year, no boys fought to put their ornaments in the prominent places on the trees. They have other interests, so my favorites are front and center. The lighted Baby Jesus with a donkey and lamb, the skating penguins, a reindeer riding a motorcycle with Santa in a sidecar, a jukebox that plays “Rocking around the Christmas Tree” and a set of “Frosty Friends” ornaments with an Eskimo and artic friends have a prominent place on the big tree. On the smaller tree one with animals, a horse with a chicken on his back, a lamb with my oldest’s two year old teeth marks in his head, a pair of raccoons talking into a tin can string, a bear swinging on a tire and a seal poking his head out from inside a Christmas package make me smile as well. While I have my favorites, I am glad that God doesn’t hold one person higher than another. I recently heard someone say that they thought God had put them on the back burner. They didn’t think God cared for them as much as He does others. Unlike me, God doesn’t have a back to His Christmas tree. He loves us all equally no matter how cute or colorful, no matter whether we talk or sing or have lights or sparkle. To prove it, He sent His Son for the salvation of the whole world. What better proof do we need than that?