Blue’s Clues, a homemade frame with a child’s face beaming inside, a glass heart engraved with our wedding anniversary, a small gold chapel and miniature straw animals find themselves hanging from the branches.
The image doesn’t fit the Pottery Barn Christmas tree motif. There is no color scheme or elaborate theme, Perfectly wrapped bows do not dress the soft pine branches of our Frasier Fir.
Not that those kinds of trees don’t have a place. But they don’t belong in our house right now.
You see, the ornaments on our tree have two purposes. They don’t just speak of Christmas present. They tell stories of Christmases past.
They may hang in different places each year. But their stories remain the same.
God spoke into our lives through those stories. Marriage took place. Babies arrived. Kids grew in “wisdom and stature.” Significant people crossed our paths who shaped us. Christmas traditions connected us.
In a sense, they help connect the dots of how we have come to this place: My husband, myself, two teens and a young adult. Some of those seasons brought hardship: job loss, illness, devastating deaths. Others gifted us with unexpected happiness, new life, fulfilling callings.
And though it all, Jesus reigned. Which is really what we want to remember at Christmas anyway.
So while my kids are still all at home, we will cherish the years with our eclectic tree and all the memories attached. Because we must continue to remember our family’s part in God’s story.