I've begun working on Christmas decorations today, and am enjoying figuring out how to bring together a vignette or two. For now, I've strung the Creature Comfort bird ornaments I decked out with ribbon and sequins last year, and hung them from my bookcase. I put the ends of ribbon into little glasses that I weighed down with green marbles, and a gold one on top. The rest is self explanatory.
What does it mean to decorate? If I put it that way, certainly the image of honours medals comes to mind, but the word is also connected to adornment and --- decency?! To be decent means to show honour, be gracious, bestow offerings, be kind...
So, in honour of this word and this idea, as we think of our decorations, might we thing of another kind of decorating? I think most people, if they are honest, want to be surrounded by loving people who can give as much as they receive, and who are as sensitive as themselves. In order to reach this reality, spiritual fathers and thinkers have propounded the importance of not judging others. It is said that seeing other people's faults is a gift from the unholy one, while seeing one's own faults is a gift from God.
While sometimes one can be surrounded by people who seem so angry and difficult, it is important to remember that even these people have goodness within - even if this goodness isn't pointed towards us, that doesn't mean it isn't there. This is where the expression, hate the sin, not the sinner gains its meaning: we all want people to consider us in the greater picture, so we should consider the bigger picture of other people, too. If we look, we will find good attributes even in those who at times appear to be our aggressors. If we don't look, we will probably end up making the same mistakes that we are so keen on criticising in others.
It is a tall order to love everyone. But at least we can begin by taking out the weeds of ill will towards others. So, this is how I will be trying to decorate my inner life this holiday season. And below, is my first attempt at decorating my shoe-box rental. I wish you could come round for cocoa and rum balls!

Elements: background: creature comforts wrapping paper;
 flowers: pugly pixel; bird: the graphics fairy;
 embroidery and retro frame: minitoko.

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