Well by now, most everyone has either packed up their Christmas decorations, or they’re staring at all the red and green everything—still tired from the holiday—and saying “ugh…let’s do it tomorrow…” over and over again.

As for us, we always drag our decorations out of storage right after Halloween, so by the time Christmas has finally come around, we’ve heard all the songs, watched all the movies, and admired all the lights so many times we’re ready for it to just END ALREADY.

So, starting yesterday, we began gathering up all our decorations, the strings of lights, the trinkets, the books, and the stuffed animals. The stars (on the highest boughs) have been un-hung, the trees have been put away, and the halls have been undecked. It used to be that the end of December marked what we liked to call “the burning of Christmas,” during which all the old cardboard, ruined toy boxes, worn out wrapping paper, and the smashed and worthless bows and ribbons would be piled up in the backyard and set ablaze. I don’t think we can get away with that in our new neighborhood. I dunno. I’ll have to ask the wife. I’ll update you with pictures if she says yes. Here’s what it looked like in 2017…

So long Christmas; you’re Feliz Navi-Dead to me!

There is something very cathartic about watching a holiday go up in smoke like that. It’s always very final: There’s no turning back, no last minute second thoughts, no sudden changes of hearts.

After all, once something is cast into fire, that’s it for them. I accidently chucked a Charlie Brown action figure in the fire one time, and by the time I realized it, there was no getting it back. Whatever goes into the fire gets burned forever. No amount of pleading or wishing could make me stick my arm in there and fish it out.

Moral of the story: You do not want to be cast into fire.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

(Matthew 25:41)

Once you’re in, there’s no one coming to pull you out. No amount of pleading or wishing or hoping or begging for a second chance will matter. The time to avoid the fire is before you go in. Make yourself valuable to your Master; work hard in His kingdom, stay faithful to your calling. Do those things and you won’t be an “unprofitable servant” doomed to the fire; instead you’ll be a “good and faithful servant” ready to enter into life forever.

~ Matthew