Tim's Blog
What's In A Decoration?
January 02, 2020
My wife, Sandy, sat down and put some thoughts out that I thought you should have a chance to read.  Enjoy!

 What’s In a Decoration? 

  

I’m always a bit sad when it’s finally time to take down our Christmas Decorations.  We get them out as early as we can justify, the weekend after Thanksgiving, and usually don’t put them away until the second week of January.  Christmas decorations seem to add such a flavor of cheer, excitement and enthusiasm to wherever one happens to be.  They just make me more light hearted, mindful of people (family, friends and former co-workers) as well as past blessings and events.  What’s in a Decoration?  From the Banner on my front door, to the huge wreath on my wall, to our special Christmas dishes and various “set around” novelties as well as the ornaments on my tree, most represent a memory that is vivid and sweet.

One of my favorites is the small silver/blue plastic bell ornament which hangs almost unnoticeable from my seven foot artificial tree.  It was an ornament that hung on our family Christmas tree when I was a child.  One look at it and memories quickly flood my mind of all those Christmases so many years ago.  I instantly picture my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, all deceased and yet all clearly resurrected in my mind, healthy and happy.  I picture my brothers, the cousins, the memorable gifts, the favorite foods and mostly the laughter and love (ok, and some drama!).  Just think, all of that, from one little plastic bell! 

There is a special Christmas plate that was a wedding gift for our December wedding (lots of memories there!) and various things from my crafty mother-in-law.  A picture of my older brother and myself with Santa when I was in first grade suggests that it was an impromptu meeting, as a button is hanging off my coat and our general dress is a bit messy.  That picture brings back a slew of other memories, of the many naughty capers my brother and I enjoyed together, stressing our mom to her emotional limit, thus the “not quite all-together look.” But….she got us there!! I especially love remembering her and the way she always tried to make things special and fun!

There are homemade ornaments from our four children’s school projects, some more intricate than others.  But, from the star made with cut-up drinking straws on a string to the more impressive ceramic painted star, each one is priceless and, again, stirs sweet memories of our 4 children, now 40+ and 30+ years old and special treasured memories from years ago.

Then, there are the special ornaments my husband and I started exchanging 10 years ago.  The ornaments are meant to represent a special event or general idea about the past year.  We store them in a box separate from our other ornaments.  When we take them out, one by one, we reminisce about the year they represent. Again, our memories are ignited and we laugh, smile and sometimes cringe a little as we remember!

We have recently added a stuffed snowman collection which sits perched on a ledge, overlooking our living room.  Our grandchildren have taken quite a liking to them and I know that each year as I unpack them, the sweet memories of their laughter, their sweet face and time spent together will fill my thoughts. 
 
Some may think that I am overly sentimental.  Actually, I’m quite a pragmatist in my day-to-day life!  I simply believe that our ability to make and recall fond memories is a gift our Heavenly Father designed in man at the time of creation. And, what an amazing gift it is!  The truth is, in our normal busy lives, we often don’t take the time to enjoy that gift!   We often need a catalyst to jog or bring forth those memories, and, perhaps a quieter moment for special focus.  For me, Christmas and our special decorations provide that quieter moment, and special focus.

What’s in a decoration? I look forward to that time every year when I can walk through our house, enjoy our special decorations, reflect on special people and events, and share those memories with family and other guests throughout the season.  As I prepare to put them away in their special storage containers, admittedly a bit sad, I often take another moment to offer a focused general Thank You for the Joy of those many blessings, both people and events!!  In doing so, I am filled with hope, reminded of God’s great provision for me and happily expectant of what He has in store for me in the New Year!
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