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The Christmas Tablecloth

On Friday evening the menfolk and womenfolk of this household went separate ways. I took my son upstairs and he and I continued playing a computer game he enjoys, saving the world from tyranny. We were sure that this was much more important than what the ladies were doing. Aileen and the girls stayed downstairs and began getting the house into the Christmas spirit. A couple of hours later, with the threat of evil worldwide domination thoroughly vanquished, my son and I returned downstairs to find the house transformed. The Christmas tree was decorated and popcorn strings were almost finished being strung together. Christmas lights and garlands were wrapped around the handrail from upstairs to downstairs. I was pleased. I know how much it means to Aileen to keep the house “seasonal.”

It was not until later that night, as I was turning out lights and locking doors right before heading to bed, that I noticed that Aileen had put a Christmas tablecloth on the kitchen table. I don’t know why, but for some reason seeing that just made my night (and, by Aileen’s own admission, it’s not even a very nice tablecloth). I went to bed that night, just praising God for my wife. As she lay beside me, fast asleep and breathing softly, I was filled with gratitude that God has given her such a desire to tend to our home.

If I were a single guy, I’m quite sure that it would not occur to me to decorate the house for Christmas. I definitely would not have a Christmas tablecloth for my kitchen table. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have or need a table since I’d likely just eat takeout at my desk every day while working 16-hour days. I wouldn’t decorate for Christmas because Christmas decorations don’t mean anything to me.

Or that’s what I thought. But that silly tablecloth told me that they do mean something to me. In that tablecloth and in those decorations I see my wife’s desire and her ability to make this season special. I see her God-given ability to do something I cannot do—make this house a home.