Getting out all the decorations from years past is exciting. Different decorations bring back memories of Christmases past. The ornaments for the tree are especially dear to me. I often can remember who gave me the ornaments. Since I was a teacher, there are many ornaments that were given to me by my students. A special angel made of yarn stands out in my memory. The child who gave it to me came from poor home conditions but when she handed it to me she said, “My mother made this for you.” This was beauty from something less beautiful.
Several ornaments with my children’s names engraved on them were given by their aunt. Others are ones made in art class at school with their pictures in them. This really reminds me how much they have grown and changed over the years.
Besides the ornaments and their memories, the tree itself brings back many memories. I can remember seeing my husband toil with Christmas tree lights with more patience than I would have. After many years of wrestling with lights that were often difficult to use, we got a pre-lighted tree that was put up in a matter of minutes, and it worked!
Other decorations that mean a great deal to me are Nativity scenes. They come in all sizes, shapes, and materials. Several years ago my husband decided that he wanted to construct a life-size Nativity scene for our front yard. He planned ahead for a year to have this happen. In January, he gave a sheet of plywood to our daughter-in-law who just happens to be a fine artist. The instruction were to draw and paint life-size images of Mary and Joseph. He gave plywood to our oldest son (who happens to be an artist also). His job was to draw and paint the animals. They worked on these throughout the year and by December they were finished. My husband built the stable and the manger and all were placed in our front yard. It was a family effort and we hope that all who come by and see it are reminded of its importance at this Christmas season.
Aside from the Nativity outside, I have a new one inside this year. Some of my children made a trip to Israel this fall and they brought me a Nativity set hand-carved from olive tree wood. It is very special.
As you travel around town and country you see all kinds of decorations for the Christmas season. Some are simple, some are very ornate, and I might think some are even gaudy. Everyone to their own taste, but as I look around perhaps we should ask ourselves, “Do my decorations show the true meaning and the real reason for the season?”