Skip to content ↓

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.


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…