I awoke later than my usual 5:15 a.m. I stayed up late the night before trying to get some decorating done before my grandsons come to spend the night with me. I partially decorated the tree placing the precious, delicate ornaments near the top. I purposely left some ornaments out for little “helping hands” to place upon the tree later.
I always admire the showcase trees. You know the ones I am referring to. They have ribbons cascading from the top of the tree in spirals with one or two colors of ornaments, perhaps feathers or small bouquets of flowers or other unusual items tucked among the branches. They are beautiful to look at but they hold no allure for me. Although I admire these types of decorated trees I have not chosen to have one in my home.
Our tree has always been adorned with the same ornaments; handmade ones given to me by my children or friends over the years. I placed several on the tree this year thinking of the individual who gave it to me. Miniature white crocheted bells, snowflakes and angels, handiwork of my stepmom and my sister-in-law’s mother. There are 3” hand knitted striped Christmas stockings; a gift from Vera. Although I have never been to Hawaii I have several ornaments from there. Barb and Dale Collins gave me a “Mrs. Claus”. Orville and Fern Groves have brought me exquisite alabaster angels from various trips to the islands. I hung upon my tree one delicate silver and gold laser cut ornament with the word, JOY spinning in its center. A gift from Betty Stark. I held in my hands a Precious Moments girl grasping a fishing pole in her tiny hand that Glenda’s husband, Don gave me one Christmas. The fish is missing from the line at the end of the pole. It was a reminder of all the wonderful times we spent at their cabin at Owyhee Reservoir fishing and making memories with our families. There are ornaments that have my children’s pictures on them with tousled hair and toothless smiles from grade school days. Felt ornaments that my sister in law, Mary lovingly made with decorative embroidered stitches are hanging on my tree. Ruth Kane cross-stitched a tiny intricate ornament to add to my collection. An all white alabaster angel hangs near the top of my tree. Her dress is formed like a seashell. She clasps a tiny wreath in her hands and another wreath adorns her head. Dolores Gasseling sent it to our family after my husband was diagnosed with his illness in the early 90’s.
Several hundred ornaments of all shapes and sizes hang upon my Christmas tree. Its branches are heavily laden with love. Tucked deep inside its center is a thick 6” nail; a gift from my Eagle church. A card is loosely wrapped around it. The card reads, ‘This Christmas Nail is a secret ornament. Place it in the center of your tree so that only your family knows of its presence. Others will take no notice of it, but to you the nail symbolizes the tree that Jesus decorated for us with the sacrifice of His life.”
When you look at my tree you cannot see the memories I have stored deep in the treasure-house of my heart. The cherished times I have spent with each person who gave me a memory. So many of these dear people are gone from this world now and the ornaments given speak to my heart. Every year as I place them upon my tree they remind me of the wonderful people who have graced my life over the years. How fortunate and blessed I am to have their life entwine with mine.