A few weeks ago, we put up our Christmas tree. Old and new decorations that bring a smile to my face as well as remind me of where they (and I) come from adorn its branches.
The couch I sit on just happens to be next to the tree. Many nights lately, my break after work and homework but before dinner finds me reading. At 5:30, a timer turns the tree on. I hear the click and my heart leaps. Peace, love, and joy surge through me as I look over and admire the beauty.
The silver bells and balls with the year engraved. We get one every year, and I have half of Mom’s. While I was taking them out of the box this year, I would tell the girls what happened that year. 2002-the year Mom died. 2001-her last Christmas where we skipped the Christmas Eve service and held one of our own. My sensitive Lauren patted my back and asked if I wanted to hang that one up. 2003-the year we got married. 2006 and 2008-the girls’ birth years. Then there were others and I would tell the girls how old Mommy and Daddy were then.
There are cradles for each of them from their first Christmases as well as a heart from our first Christmas married.
We have Georgia football ornaments as well of course. There will never be a Florida one!
Delicate snowflakes that make us ooh and ahh every time we see them.
My uncle Bill makes us an ornament every year and we look forward to seeing his creation every time. The talent and thought that goes into each one astounds me.
And who can forget the hand made ornaments? The girls are only 7 and 9, and I already look back and marvel at how tiny their preschool hand prints were.
Our Christmas tree tells the story of us. It is magical and beautiful and sad. There are memories attached to each ornament, even the generic red balls we got our first Christmas so the tree didn’t seem bare. Just like life, the tree makes me laugh and cry. Sometimes I see it and am amazed at its brightness and am flooded with wonder.
No, we can’t keep the tree up year round, but the good news is that all of it is in our hearts. The memories that inspired each ornament are to be savored, even the bittersweet ones. Maybe especially those. To be bittersweet, they had to have been sweet at one point. Those poignant memories help us enjoy what we have now.
This Christmas, may we all look at our lives and see how far we have come and celebrate what we have now. Let us hold on to the memories of years past, but remember who we have at this moment. The people in our lives now need to be cherished, for one day this Christmas will be a memory too.
Let’s make it a great one!
Linking with Holley Gerth