I Hate Tinsel!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Child In The Manger"1 (Lyrics)

We just celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary, so I have been inundated with memories from the past, sometimes making me somewhat sad because of times gone by. Since the celebration is over, I continue to remember things from those first years of marriage. One of them is our first Christmas tree. It was, of course, a fresh tree bought from a lot. We went out and bought all new ornaments and lights for the tiny tree. I remember bringing home to our little apartment boxes of red apples for bulbs, garland, and twinkling lights of all colours. Although I hate it, we bought silver tinsel and strew it about until we could barely see the ornaments.

For years, I dug these ornaments out at Christmastime, but the years took a toll on them. The red came off the apples, the garland was in pieces, and some of the lights burned out and eventually had to be replaced. But then, the tinsel covered up the chips, brokenness, and darkness.

Sometimes, we feel like those pitiful decorations. Once, we were brand new in our faith after we had accepted Christ into our hearts, but then life began to tear away at our bright and shiny faith. Our life changed as trouble came our way, our health deteriorated, or relationships changed. But then, there were church services, Christian friends, and Bible studies — lots of tinsel to cover our disappointments. But inside, there was something missing, a longing for new life. Why had the paint chipped away? Why had the beautiful twinkling lights gone black? Why are we left with only the tinsel?

As busy believers, we have forgotten our first love!

Revelation 2:4-5a – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (NIV)

In this busy season, if you feel that you have somehow lost your first love, turn your life around and seek your first love this Christmas. Don't hide behind the tinsel!

Jeremiah 29:13 – If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (NLT)

Let's cast off every distraction so that we can run free and unhindered in pursuit of Christ. There is still hope in the manger! There is still hope in the cross! Seek Him while He may be found!

I still hate tinsel!

Prayer: Father God, may our eyes be only on You as our first love. Help us to be authentic, with pure hearts, not hiding behind the tinsel. May we desire to pursue You only, and run whole-hearted and unhindered to reach the goal. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Jeanie Nihiser <jnihiserj@gmail.com>
Cerro Gordo, Illinois, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Thanks for sharing, Jeanie.

    Thanks for that reminder. Bless you,
    (BC Canada)

    Thank you. I hate tinsel too .But I connect with your message.

    Great reminder in this season of busyness for many. Thanks and blessings, Jeanie!

    I enjoyed this….such a good analogy. Would not have thought of this but you are right.

    Thank you, Jeanie, for today’s devotion.
    I like it
    (Ormeaux Québec)

    Not a fan of tinsel myself, Jeanie, but thoroughly enjoyed your devotion submission today. Thank you, and God bless you.

    Lovely. So lovely. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.
    Also, belated congratulations on your anniversary. How blessed.

    Dear Jeanie – I loved your devotional of day. I also laughed when I saw, “I still hate tinsel!” A wonderful way to begin my day. God Bless you.

    I loved your devotion! Sometimes we all need to find our first love Christ! Although after 82 years sometimes we need a little help from a devotion like yours, to jog us from our pitty party, thank you. Pray you have a Merry Christmas!

    Dear Jeanie,
    I smiled as you spoke of your experience as I have done similar, and I still don’t like tinsel. In fact, I haven’t used it for years. And I also work at removing the “tinsel” off my life to let God’s light shine through. Thank you for sharing your recollections and making application to our faith and encouragement to pursue our first love, Christ. Be blessed.

    Jeanie, I must share my tinsel story. My brother and I, at ages 7 and 8, wanted to help decorate the tree. Mum said yes, although older sister had a look of disgust. The shiny tinsel caught our eyes, and after hanging a few strands gently, we just threw handfuls gleefully. Off we went to bed, satisfied with our contribution. In the morning, we saw the tree resplendent in its shimmering glory, every branch boasting silver splendour. It looked exactly as we pictured it – what a Christmas miracle.
    Tinsel is not a favourite of mine, either. Thanks for the wisdom your sharing provides.

    Good morning, Jeanie
    I had to laugh at this title before I even read the devotional. My mother-in-law is the only person I know who still uses tinsel. She patiently puts it on with her grandchildren and patiently takes it off and stores it away for the next year. One of her sons buys the tree and his daughters help her decorate the tree. This has been for quite a few years now since she is 96. It is something she looks forward to and should happen this weekend.
    As I get older, I do seem to think more about the past and the good memories. It probably is because I am retired and have more time to just ponder.
    Our faith journey also has its ups and downs, and we sometimes need a little extra push to keep it strong. Devotionals help to remind us what is important and Christmas also brings our faith into sharper focus. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the lights and decorations and don’t hide it with the tinsel. Blessings.


    Thank you, Jeanie. Not only did you bring back memories — that tinsel that ended up everywhere — but your message to see Jesus is well said.

    Dear Jeanie,
    Thank you for your good words of both admonition and encouragement.
    You’re so right: focusing on Jesus is the only way to know His peace and calling for us.
    Joy and peace on Christ.

    I read your message and printed it off for the rest of the family to see: Thank You!
    I then re-opened a card we had received a few days earlier, took it out of it’s envelope which was still in my purse. The pictures demonstrate your message perfectly.
    This card shows my amazement of how God confirms what is from him.

    Somehow, I missed this devotional on the day it was published. AND it’s a good thing I went through my old emails because this devotional was well worth reading.
    Thank you very much,

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