When Christmas of 2007 rolled around, Steve and I had recently moved into a new house in Decatur after returning from living four years in Ecuador. We pretty much started over, since we had sold most of our “worldly goods” before we moved away. A new Christmas tree was necessary, and I found a picture of a beautifully-decorated tree in Southern Living that I decided to try to imitate. It was filled only with large gold and red balls and crystal icicles. A trip to Old-Time Pottery and an online order to The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge for the icicles and a tree picked out on BalsamHill.com, and I was in business.
The tree was indeed “picture perfect,” but truthfully, it lacked heart. Where was the nostalgia? Where were the ornaments that evoked smiles or outright laughter? Where was the feeling of tradition?
Before we moved to South America, we divided many of our Christmas ornaments among the kids to have on their own trees, but it turned out a box or two was still packed away and kept in my daddy’s attic. I’m glad.
This year, once again, we are in a new house, and after eleven years of use, it was time to get a new tree. But this time, the collection of ornaments evoke memories, and I think it might be my favorite tree so far. I loved watching the grandchildren on Thanksgiving Day as they explored all of the fun treasures they saw hanging, and I enjoyed pointing out various ones and the memories/trips/givers they represent. Hopefully, the ornaments that now grace the tree(s) in my house will one day show up on the Christmas trees of our grandchildren who will smile and be reminded of happy times.
From a similar perspective, God wants US to remember the good things He has done for us, the ways He has protected us through the years, and the words He gave us so we’d know how to be saved and how to live lives that are pleasing to Him.
Isaiah 46:9 – “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me”
Deuteronomy 6:12 – “Then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
1 Corinthians 11:2 – “Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.”
Psalm 77:11 – “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”
What memories and traditions are represented on your tree or in your home this season? I pray this will be a happy time for you and your family.