Three boxes of ornaments sit open on the living room floor. The tree lights twinkle bright as I take each one from the box, smiling for the memory that sings as I hold it in my palm. I carefully lift each one and choose a spot for it, my hand always seems to know where it should hang on the tree every December.
I began collecting them even before my husband and I were married. There's one for our engagement at Disney World. Another for our fist year of marriage and more for the anniversaries to follow. Baby's First Christmas hangs near World's Best Dad and I Love You, Mommy. I try to always choose an ornament to remember family vacations we've taken and the places we've lived. I pick one for each of us that marks something we accomplished or loved that year.
There are many of them now. Pretty pieces of glass and wood and metal that represent a life full of joy and love and blessings. It's such a special time each year to stand back and admire them covering our family tree.
Memories on branches.
There is going to be a year when my treasured ornaments no longer hang together on our tree. Some may be passed on to children or grandchildren, some may break, some may be thrown away. Even the memories behind them will fade.
That fact brings some sadness, but not panic or despair.
Because these moments and memories? They're made beautiful and possible by One little babe in a manger bed. The One who wrapped himself in flesh to live and die and save us. The Jesus who forgives and redeems and will return again to bring us Home with Him.
So while this life is overwhelmingly wonderful, it is only a hint, a glimmer of the perfect Life that is to come.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
Happy Christmas, dear ones. May His peace and joy and love sing in your hearts. You are treasured. You are His.