As I sit and ponder this year’s Christmas, I find myself filled with many of the same thoughts I have every Christmas, so I’m re-posting this from December, 2012. Happy memories.
The gifts are wrapped. Dinner prep is done. The cat has a bow on his nose. Again.
All that remains is to sit and relax in front of the Christmas tree.
History lies within its branches. I’m not talking about the origins of the tree, how the tradition evolved over time. What I’m considering is my life history, dangled year by year on gold cords in the form of ornaments.
Near the top is a glass bust of Santa I remember hanging on my tree when I was a child. I don’t know if my mother brought it from her childhood tree or if it was new to my family, but decades of wear have taken their toll, the red and green colors faded, the glass almost transparent. My adult children hold the ornament with reverence, awed that something so old and fragile could have survived. I wonder what they think of me!
Nearby are the ornaments of my post-college working girl days, lunch hours spent shopping for mementos like Woodstock and Snoopy, ceramic keepsakes of the era.
Then further down are the benchmark ornaments. The kangaroo with a baby in her pouch was given to me the year I was pregnant with my firstborn. Close by is the wooden rocking horse with the bright orange mane and tail presented to that first child the following Christmas. A teddy bear with a baby bottle came two years later for my daughter.
Sprinkled around the tree are the many creations handmade by my homeschooled children over the years. Beads of every color, lace and chenille are combined into candy canes, wreaths, and starbursts.
Finally are the achievement ornaments. A gold treble clef reminds me of my son’s stint in band playing the flute. A moose and a polar bear bring tears as I remember the Christmas day my college graduate took off to Dutch Harbor, Alaska for his first professional job working as a biologist observer on the Bering Sea. I spent the entire three months he was gone on my knees.
Yes, my Christmas tree is a living history for me. A reminder of decades of life my family has experienced. As I add ornaments for this season of life, I thank God for His faithfulness, for His mercies which are never failing, and for His promises to give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
May you find God’s truths real in your life as well.