Red rustic jingle bells hung on the tree by your sweet little fingers, so small and so eager. The Christmas music is playing as we dance around the room. You pull out the ornaments that are treasured each year. “Remember this one we made?” you say as you laugh out loud. Your faces are glowing with excitement. Little hands reaching high to help, to put that ornament on just so.
Creating memories. No gold or perfection, its not even a real tree this year. Its not even that tall! But I couldn’t ask for a more lovely tree because its full of your handiwork. And I will gaze on these ornaments for the rest of my Christmases. Memories made from years past, handmade ornaments that we’ve crafted with love as we’ve woven in the story of a Babe come to Earth.
An ornament breaks as it falls to the ground, and another one. I saw that one coming and probably should have intercepted it. But I rush to the fixes with words of kindness and comfort, vacuum up messes, and carry on. A few final touches and we’re almost done. Paper angels, and pipe cleaner candy canes, styrofoam snowmen, and glitter faces.
“Beautiful!” I proclaim as we stand to admire and take a picture in front of it. Your smiling faces light up mine. You’ve made it unique, beautiful, special, and full of new memories made. Just like my childhood memories of decorating the family tree, my mama turning on the record player or cassette tape, the hilarity and dancing around the tree, hanging ornaments on my sisters, wrapping up our dog with Christmas lights, and throwing faux snow onto the tree (…and then onto each other)!
Each year, as we decorate our tree, we are decorating your childhood with precious memories.