In the past, I’ve shared how amongst my family’s personal holiday traditions, one of my favorite is the Martian Kings–little toys from the Netherlands that my wife’s sister and her husband (who used to live there) sent to us over the years. Originally, they were just decorations for Sinterklaas (a Dutch celebration in December that bears some similarities to Christmas), but the Martian Kings (as my daughter described them) stayed for Christmas.
At first, they just joined the Nativity scene (obviously having a deep desire to worship the baby Jesus) but then they began to just appear all over the place in our household, and it became a common point different people in our family to periodically move them around so they’re random appearances would take you by surprise.
At first, there were six Martian Kings (before they became a thing for us) but for most of their time in our household, there have been five.
Now sadly, there are only four! See, nobody had move the Martian Kings lately and I had the bright idea on this Christmas Day to use blu-tack them to an antennae that we still use sometimes on top of our TV. I thought, that’d be cute, but hopefully, I continued, the blu-tack will hold, and not say, completely fail in the intense heat of the Australian summer.
Turns out my hopes were in vain, though. By the time we came home from the Christmas lunch at the Christian community that we’re part of, at least one of the Martian King’s adhesive had failed (I didn’t see this myself), and it had fallen to the ground.
That shouldn’t be a big deal, but the trouble is my not completely self-disciplined dog Charlie was at home, with no people about. And the Martian King fell right onto Charlie’s little mat that sits in front of the TV. And the dog was feeling playful, I guess. Or bored.
And that’s all she wrote for that Martian King!
A Martian King is down! A family tradition has been mauled and torn apart by the vicious beast that lives in our household!
What does this mean? Has Christmas been ruined? Is this the death of the holiday spirit? Is peace and goodwill to all mankind a sham?
No. No, no, no. Fortunately.
I love my holiday traditions. I love having fun and being creative. But fortunately, Christmas is way more than tradition. Christmas is way more than Martian Kings.
Christmas is my family, taking time to love and appreciate one another. Christmas is community, recognizing the truth that genuinely brings unity and oneness of spirit. Christmas is my Creator, going out of his way to be incarnated into my world, in order to destroy the works of darkness and restore honor and purity and hope to his children. Christmas is Jesus, changing my world forever.
The Martian Kings are just window dressing (literally). The Martian Kings are decoration. The Martian Kings are some fun memories, but really that’s it.
The Martian Kings will fade away, while that which lasts will stand eternal.