When we put up our Christmas tree it always takes longer than I originally think it will, and that’s because of the number of ornaments we have collected over the years…and the tears that come when putting them up. Oh, they’re happy tears; I oooh and aaah over each precious ornament, reminiscing over why it’s so beloved. My favorites are definitely the ones my children made or were bought with them in mind as they reached a significant milestone in their life.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’m quite sure most of you know exactly what I am talking about. What’s interesting to consider is why our stories are so important to us. The ornament may be cute or clever, but the story behind it is what makes it important.
The tiny ballet dancers that are front and center on a prominent branch with their tulle skirts and shy smiles, these little ladies remind me of the hours of dance rehearsal and Nutcracker practice I got to enjoy as a Dance Mom. One tiny dancer is learning to stand with grace and strength in 3rd position and the other is pointing her toe – my daughter was doing the same thing at that young age and we were so proud of her as she persevered to improve her skills.
The Spider Man ornament holds a memory from the year 2000, while all 5 of us as a family were eating dinner, our boys who were 5 and 2 at the time announced that they were going to grow up and become Spider Man. They believed he was the best because of how he could swing between tall buildings and they liked the color blue. It totally makes sense because, hey – who wouldn’t want spider webbing spurting out of their palms? And his superhero suit is super cool.
The last ornament I’ll share with you is a pair of angel wings. In 1997, I had a miscarriage. This little life I was privileged to carry only lasted a few months and was born so prematurely, the sweet baby wasn’t able to survive in this world. My mother-in-law bought us this ornament to remind us that we have one child already in heaven, singing God’s praises along with the angels. We honor all life and as such, are grateful for this reminder of God’s comfort and provision for us at that difficult time.
God himself has a story to tell of his son; we tell that story every Christmas as we remember the conception and birth of Christ. Jesus’ best friend John tells God’s story at the beginning of his epistle this way, And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Every Christmas ornament we hang tells not only our stories, but points us back to His story as well.
Dear Reader, what an opportunity we have. As we share our personal stories about how we decorate and celebrate Christmas, we can also remember to share His story which is the reason we are celebrating in the first place. Let’s pray for these divine conversations. Listening to one another’s stories is one of the best ways we can honor one another. Romans 12:10 says to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourself” and James, the brother of Jesus, urges us to be “quick to listen” (James 1:19). The world will know we are truly followers of Christ as we exemplify to them an other-worldly type of love and honor through the gift of listening well to one another.
As always, dear reader, thank you for listening to my stories. May you have many divine conversations this week to share both the story of God’s son and to listen to other’s cherished Christmas memories.