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Choco and Rudy Hang Out

203. Choco and Rudy Hang Out

As I decorate for Christmas, I pack away other things to make room. And starting yesterday the process was reversed. Now one of the things that got packed away during Advent and Christmastide was Choco-Latte. He’s a stuffed elephant, a foot and a half tall, long and wide who sits on the laundry hamper in my bedroom eleven months of the year. During the holiday season Rudy (same size stuffed reindeer) comes out of the plastic box and Choco goes in.

Now this year there was some concern on the part of my 8-year-old granddaughter, who worried that Choco would be unhappy out in the storage barn, and I reassured her that he only got packed away one month, while Rudy was packed away for eleven months. Even so she was delighted today to put Rudy and Choco together on the couch while the switch takes place. Rudy played his music for all of us since he nods and sings “Jingle Bell Rock” as the lights on his head blink on and off. Choco-Latte was impressed and they are discussing Rudy’s skills even as I type.

The granddaughter and I have reached an agreement: that when we take the boxes out to the storage area we will mark the one that Rudy is in. And for the month of June, he gets to come out and hang with Choco on the couch again.

There are little pieces of Christmas that stay out in my house on purpose—to remind me of this holy season throughout the year. It is Howard Thurman who in his poem says that it is now, even as we’re packing things away, that the real work of Christmas begins.

The baby Jesus will go back in the bread box (see #170) and I’ll stumble across his little green box that says “Greatest Gift” from now until next Advent. I’ll see the Peace ornament daily and it will remind me that the baby grew to become the Prince of Peace and has expectations that I, too, will work for peace. So in a way, Christmas never gets totally packed away—pieces of it just keep getting lived.

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