Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
I finally got the last of the Christmas ornaments boxed up this week. I can’t believe how long it took. I didn’t think I would ever get done. No one helps me decorate or undecorated. I have only myself to blame. For over thirty years, I have collected Hallmark Christmas ornaments. I started collecting them before they were collectables just because I thought they were cute. However, once someone came out with a guide that showed how valuable they were going to be, I got picky about how they were kept and stored. I always insisted that each ornament be returned back to its original box with its original wrappings. That way, if I decided to sell it, it could be marketed in excellent condition. When you consider how many hundreds of ornaments I use each year, packing and unpacking them is a tedious job. I used to fuss at my kids when they eagerly pulled out their own boxes to put them on the tree. “Put that wrapping back in the box! Don’t rip the box!” Then, I wondered why no one wanted to help any more. While I didn’t realize it at the time, it has been dawning on me what joy that robbed from them. This year, youngest son’s girlfriend called him a grinch because he wouldn’t help her decorate. I said, “I think I’m to blame for that. I used to make him put his ornaments all back into their boxes each year.” She nodded wisely. I don’t know if she was being polite or he said something to her, but it only confirmed my suspicions and made me sad. This year, as I trudged through rewrapping all those ornaments back up, I wondered what it would be like to do as she said her family does. They just have boxes with many little slots and put the ornaments in willy nilly. They don’t organize by type or put each ornament back in its little plastic bag within a special molded plastic shell and into its cardboard box. They don’t make sure that the box seals just right with all flaps in place. They just scramble them up into a box. How freeing that sounds. I was so tired this week as I packed everything up that I experimented a little with her way. I didn’t put the ornaments into their plastic bags before putting them in the boxes. I didn’t fold all the tops just so and with some sets, I put all the ornaments into one box. That’s living on the edge for me, folks. Sad, but true. As I did, I thought. If something happens to me before next Christmas and someone looks at these boxes, what will they think? Will they be condemning because things are not just so. Or will they look at them and think, “Isn’t it great that this ornament was used and loved?” In the long run, that’s alot better than having everything ready to resell on E-bay.