Memories of Christmas Past

Ornament cut from a sea shell
An old fragile ornament and a newer more durable one.

Once again our Christmas tree has a few fragile ornaments on it. At one time, many years ago,we would have decorated our tree almost exclusively with fragile glass ornaments. But when our children arrived and began playing around our decorated tree, we gradually replaced the glass ornaments with more durable decorations, ones made of cloth, wood or metal. Now only one fragile ornament has survived from our years before children.

Many of the ornaments now on our tree tell a story about when we acquired them or who had crafted them making them far more endearing than the metal coated glass balls we once had.

Years before Lori and I had our first Christmas tree, my mother would caution my siblings and I especially when we handled a particular fragile glass golden heart that had been my mother’s favorite. Each December she would carefully hang it on an inner branch high above where little fingers might reach and each January we would carefully wrap and stow it away. I am confident that it held for my mother a story more precious than it looked.

We know the story of the shepherds and magi honoring Jesus birth because his mother Mary shared the treasure that she held in her heart.

What stories do your favorite ornaments tell? How will you share this treasure with your family?

But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
– Luke 2:19 (NRSV)

2 thoughts on “Memories of Christmas Past

  1. Rob,
    One Christmas when we were much younger, I wanted to hang some of the ornaments on the upper part of the tree where you could reach but I couldn’t. My solution was to stand on the arm of the sofa next to the tree. As I stepped back down onto the seat of the sofa, my foot landed on the glass tree top ornament that was older than you and I. It had a box of its own and always went up on the tree last. You and Karen were certain that I was in BIG trouble. It was also one of Mom’s favorites.
    I was crushed – as was the ornament. Mom was baking Christmas cookies in the kitchen, and I took it to her and confessed. Her first concern was that I hadn’t been cut by the glass, and that I was worried that she would be mad. I know she was sad about the ornament, but she hugged me and told me that it was okay.
    It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve and there was no way we would be able to buy anything to replace it. Mom had suggested we make something as a temporary replacement. I found some soft foam and cut it in the shape of a star. I glued sparkles on each side, and we put it on the top of the tree. (The glue was still a little wet, so when we took the tree down after Christmas the star was stuck to the ceiling.)
    I remember that the foam star went back up on the tree for several years until Mom made an angel for the tree. Our tree now has mostly ornaments made or given to us by others, each with a story. Those are the best parts of the decorations we bring out and use and re-use each year.

    1. I believe I have that lace angel atop our tree. We also have the foil covered cone that dad made to keep the angel shape when not on the tree.

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