It has taken me a long time to get into the "Christmas Spirit" this year. Thanksgiving was barely over before we were running all over the place for play practices, performances, parties, etc. Christmas decorations were everywhere, except my house! And no one was around long enough to help get them up. But alas... I braved the cold and even worse "the shed" to dig them out!
After all the unpacking, etc... my three youngest children were dancing around me waiting to put their ornaments on the tree. It was such a joy to see the dazzle and excitement in their eyes as they looked into the lights on the tree. Every child, has received a new ornament every year of their life... so considering our oldest is 22, and we have seven children... that in itself is a lot of ornaments! I have several of my own special ornaments through the years.. and I enjoy placing them on the tree.
So this morning, as I sit in my living room, with the sun just breaking over the top of the horizon, (drinking an amazing cup of coffee) I am looking at my tree. Some branches hang low because there are too many ornaments, some branches have none. There is a definite "patch" where my precious 4 year old has chosen to hang hers. it is not perfect, it is not fancy, it does not have the latest colors to adorn the "catalog" pages... but what it does have... is mine alone. Memories... of every year of the children's lives. An ornament in memory of my grandmother, who adored Christmas. Handmade stars and angels, and bows and flowers.... it is a delightful tree!!!
Lord, I am so thankful for these children, who fill my heart and my home. I am thankful that they are healthy. I am thankful that they are growing up loving you. I am thankful that we have so much love, fierce love for each other, even in the midst of chaos. I am thankful that my tree is full. For as I see so many ornaments, I know that the time is coming where some will soon be missing, then a few more, and so it goes. As each child leaves the house.. these ornaments we have hung for so many years with love and joy and excitement will go with them. And Lord, when they begin to hang these ornaments on their own tree... may my children's eyes still be filled with wonder and amazement. I pray that they will have warm and happy memories of their childhood... and know that they were so loved. Thank you precious Jesus... for giving us the REASON to celebrate this season.