Colored vs. White Lights

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Go ahead, laugh if you want, but colored Christmas lights almost ended our marriage after 5 months.

Well maybe that’s over-dramatizing it a bit, but they certainly caused an immense amount of strife during what we thought would be an enjoyable and momentous occasion: decorating our first Christmas tree together as a married couple.

And don’t even get me started on tinsel…

Yes, I was one of those people that believed Christmas trees should be decorated with whatever decorations you felt like with no apparent theme, including handmade childhood ornaments, and then finished off with colored lights and tinsel.

I can just imagine collective groans from half of you reading this right now, while the rest of you are saying, “What’s wrong with that?” (to which I say, “Thank you!”).

My husband, on the other hand, went for more of the classic look: white lights, simple theme, mesh ribbon and elegant decorations. He asked me to give his way a chance and when I looked at his finished product, I thought I was insulting him when I said, “It looks like it should be in Bloomingdales or a catalog”, but instead he looked delighted and said, “Why thank you!”

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While neither of our aesthetics have changed in nearly ten years later, we’ve learned to embrace our artistic differences and even find ways to incorporate our children’s aesthetic into the equation.

Of course, that meant adding more trees to the mix too 😉

I believe our family’s Christmas tree battle mimics how we as Christians are to live our lives. While all of us who celebrate Christmas may agree on why we celebrate the holiday, we most likely won’t agree on how to celebrate it. Does that negate the celebration? Of course not!

Yet as Christians, sometimes we get more hung up on how people are living their lives rather than focusing on who we are living our lives for.

This Christmas, why waste your energy on a debate of white vs. colored lights or ham vs. turkey? Instead, why not focus on the one thing that unifies your family: that God sent His Son to be born as a baby, live as a man and die for our sins.

The holidays are also the perfect time to sit together as a family, especially before bedtime, and share a story of the season. Of course the reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel is always a good idea, but I’d love to share something that will soon be another favorite in your family: One Wintry Night.

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Written by Ruth Bell Graham, this beautifully illustrated story chronicles a mountain boy who is injured in a snowstorm and seeks refuge in a cabin, where he eventually hears the Christmas story told for the first time—beginning with Creation and ending with the Resurrection.

It’s stories like these that appeal to the child in us all, yet intrigues even the most skeptical adult.

However you choose to celebrate this Christmas with your family, I pray that it is uniting rather than divisive. Ask your kids what matters most to them and what memories they hold onto…then do whatever you can to incorporate those into your family traditions from this point forward. After all, whether you use colored or white lights, you have to remember their essential function: to bring light to the world.

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I pray you all do the same with and through your families this Christmas!

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” ~ John 9:4-5


With a passion for teaching and mentoring others as her inspiration, Sami Cone began blogging in 2009 to encourage others to live their dream life and pursue their passions. A published author and seminar speaker, she draws on her experiences as a writer, editor, university professor, performer, professional athlete, and pageant winner to help women realize their full potential in life. Sami appears regularly on TV & Radio as a Frugal Expert and has been blogging for Tommy Nelson since 2010. Sami and her husband of seven years, Rick, thrive in Nashville with their two children.