When you get married three days before Christmas it naturally creates a priority on the season! That year was a whirlwind of finishing up a college semester, last minute wedding preparations, and all the normal Christmas festivities. We split our honeymoon in two parts to make sure we were able to celebrate with both families. And that year we received two “1st Christmas together” ornaments.
Those ornaments set a tradition in motion. Every year afterward we got another ornament to add to our tree: Our Second Christmas… 10 Years Together… Silver Wedding Anniversary… and on the Christmases rolled. Sometimes we both bought each other one, and sometimes it was only one family ornament.
The ornaments are a visual diary of our family. Besides four Baby’s First Christmas ornaments, our visual diary commemorates family trips to Georgia, Texas, and California. Looking at the tree each year we see reminders of our little soccer stars, pianist, gymnast, and Disney and Star Wars fans. We can know the year they each started college just by checking through our Christmas ornaments, and when each child left home to start life as adults they have had 20-plus ornaments to start with at their own home – reminders of their life so far.
Among these ornaments that are joyous symbols are also reminders of the difficult years of life. The “Chemo Angel,” the ornaments commemorating our parents the years they passed, and even a blue, teardrop shaped ornament for a season of tears in our family.
You may find that odd, commemorating the bad times, but there is healing in facing the hard times. Those ornaments are like Ebenezer Stones reminding us how far the Lord has already brought us and that He has always been with us and carried us through some rough waters and fiery trials. We cherish these ornaments even more than the rest.
This year consider starting an ornament tradition in your family. You will be surprised with the memories they bring in years to come and the way they strengthen your faith.