Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. There are so many great things about it like all the pretty lights that take away the sometimes dreary feeling that the lifeless looking trees, lawns, and fields can cause. And the sentiments of goodwill people share with others.
I especially enjoy boughs of evergreen in the form of garland and wreaths with bright red bows. Add in some red berries, pine cones, white and red poinsettias, or other representations of nature and I couldn’t be happier.
When my daughter was born 24 years ago, Christmas became very special. Born the day after Christmas, she was the best Christmas present I ever received.
When my daughter had her 1st Christmas, she was already one year old. That was the year that I started making Christmas a really big deal. I started collecting all kinds of Christmas décor, adding to it every year.
Of course, we always had a tree and lots of presents under it. Every year I bought one ornament as a keepsake for my daughter. That was really fun; as she got older, she got to help pick out her ornament.
As the years passed, my collection of Christmas décor grew until I had so many boxes that storing it became a challenge. At first, we had an artificial tree that we put up but one year we decided to start getting a real tree.
It was always a big event to go to the Christmas tree farm, ride on the hay wagon out into the field, and walk around until we found the perfect tree. We just picked it out and someone cut it down for us. It was usually cold that day and we looked forward to going into the gift shop for some hot chocolate.
Once the drought hit our area, many Christmas tree farms went out of business, and we started getting a pre-cut tree from the farmer’s market. That is nice because they always have a wide variety of different types of pine trees.
When my husband and I got married, I got to share our Christmas tradition with him and his son. Since my stepson was living in our guesthouse, we bought him his own tree. I bought and wrapped presents for his cat and dog so that he would have presents under his tree, too.
Now our kids are grown and gone, but Christmas still has a very special place in my heart. I am so grateful that our kids come home for Christmas. My husband and I still go the farmer’s market to pick out the perfect tree, and I still put out all of my decorations.
Once we get the tree up, I pull out all my Christmas music. We have a nice collection of music from classic Christmas music to some of the more modern music of Tran Siberian Orchestra and Manheim Steamroller.
Watching our kids grow year by year into adults with a life of their own has made me sentimental about this time of year, now. I know one day they will have their own family to build traditions with and my husband and I will be a small part of that.
For us, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about spending time with family. Each year gets sweeter and sweeter. I am so happy to see that we were able to pass on to our kids Christmas traditions built around love of family. To see them recognize that it’s not about presents, but it is about being present brings me great joy and satisfaction.
Who knows, maybe one day we will be visiting our kids for Christmas and enjoy the Christmas traditions that they have with their own kids.
To wrap things up, I wanted to tell you that my husband and I got our Christmas tree today. It is a beautiful dark green Scotch pine. It smells fabulous! Tomorrow we will put lights and ornaments on it.
Last weekend, we put lights on the house and the nativity scene in the yard, and decorated the entrance of the driveway with garland and a wreath on the gate.
I have a deep seated feeling of peace and contentment, and I wish the same for all of you. This can be a very hectic time of year, making plans and running to and fro. In all your busy-ness, I hope you take the time to share good cheer with others. Have a great week!
Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.