When my children were small I wanted to add something to the holidays, which would be meaningful. I honestly didn’t need one more thing on my to-do list during that time, however, Christmas was packed full of activities, wish lists and expectations and I wanted the spirit of Thanksgiving to linger in their hearts a bit longer.
I heard that sometimes parents will buy a new Xmas ornament for their children every year. In fact, I remember doing this just once as a child rather than yearly. We drove down to Headlees Drugstore in our old white Pontiac. It was situated on a corner just off the square of our small town. There was a bustling excitement as I wandered up and down the aisles staring at the beautiful ornaments and dreaming of which one fit in my heart.
In a corner of the drugstore was a small café and I would gaze over the partition staring at all the people who could afford a coke or even a sandwich while out shopping. The aisles were packed with people jockeying for position in front of the flashiest ornaments. The ones with lights and music got the most attention. At an early age, I knew to look for the least expensive thing. So, I looked for what felt like hours to find the prettiest thing with the smallest price tag.
I knew my Mama could ill afford Christmas presents and would probably use her own Christmas money from my grandparents to purchase needed clothing for us which she would wrap up in a bow for Christmas morning, but this time she had given my sister and I permission to look at the extras. An ornament was an extra!
Times changed and the years have passed. Now I am a Nana and when I look back at all the Thanksgivings with my own children, the end of the day was one of my favorite times! Each child was given an ornament that I had picked out, which signified something special for them about that year, and the Christmas season was ushered in! I remember the fish ornament for the year my youngest son hooked my oldest in the ear, the shiny barn for the year we toured a giant dairy and a snowy church for the year one of my children began their pursuit of the Lord most intently.
Every year as we gather together to trim the tree it’s so much more than decorating! It’s remembering the special things we did in years gone by triggered by that ornament reminder. It reminds us of the faithfulness of God and creates thankful hearts walking into the Christmas Season. Our focus is not so much on what we want for Christmas but what we have already been given.