There are a few times each year that make me pause, reflect on the past, soak in the present and dream of the future. Christmas is the top of that list of memorable moments. In our family we reflect on the birth of Jesus, why He came and what that means for us individually, the story never gets old, the feelings always new when thinking and telling about the birth of Jesus. I also start to think about favorite Christmas traditions, a favorite Christmas year, and well sometimes even the not so favorite. It hits me a lot as we put up our Christmas tree, going through ornaments, pulling out the decorations and listening to the music. I remember the first tree Josh and I got-which I insisted be a real tree, growing up all my life having a fake tree, I wanted to experience going to a tree farm, picking one out and having our first home filled with the smell of a freshly cut pine tree. We went with another couple and on our way my friend gushed over her plans for decorating her tree. She had a theme, color schemes-last years’ decorations just would not do. My childhood Christmas tree:
It was filled with the same ornaments, the same garland, bulbs and angel year after year after year! Some were homemade-and some were a Happy Meal toy(which I might add-played music back in 1988 and still plays annoyingly today!).
I bought into my friend’s enthusiasm and since we were starting out fresh, we bought an array of silver and blue decorations for my first tree, which I was thrilled with. It was simple, uncomplicated and free of anything homemade. Fast forward to today-little is left of my first year tree decorations. The garland is strung out in a few places which we carefully tuck behind the tree, and few blue bulbs are left after having to survive 4 children’s toddler years of touching, dropping and breaking. My tree is now pretty similar to my childhood tree, filled with clearance priced ornaments with colors varying from silver, blue, green, and red. Josh and I have ornaments from our childhood scattered about our tree, and our children’s homemade ornaments grace every other branch.
At first glance it might look weird..maybe even a little ugly to any guest walking into our home. Yet as I hand them out to each child to place on our tree, I remember where it come from and the toothless grins that accompanied their excitement over having created something so special as to be placed on our tree. When we visit my family during Christmas I enjoy showing them the ornaments and telling the stories that surround each one. I love laughing with my brothers, sister and parents about a lot of them, and I enjoy soaking up the time spent reflecting on the days past. So my fake tree, with its homemade ornaments will fill our living room each year, hopefully even when our children are grown, they will return and remember each ornament and the memories that go with it. There truly is something magical about Christmas, birth of the Savior, time spent with family, the memories being made-it cannot be replaced. As we gather around our trees and open the gifts that were lovingly purchased with the loved one in mind, may we create new, lasting, wonderful memories that we can hold on to for years to come.
What are your favorite Christmas memories?
Do you have a favorite ornament and is there a meaning behind it?