“Be very, very careful with this one, this was your mommies favorite Christmas ornament.” – his eyes widened as he carefully held out both hands – it was like he was holding a baby bird.
It had been four years since we opened this box of Christmas ornaments.
While our home was being built we would string lights on a somewhat straggly cedar tree out back. I came to love this cedar tree with the crystal clear lights.
Each year this misfit of a cedar tree it would stay lit until the first day of spring, just to prolong the spirit of Christmas.
Upon carefully unpacking the ornaments it became clear to me that our long-awaited tree was not going to be one of those glamorous, sought-after trees with the beautifully crafted, sparkling ornaments. You know the ones that stop you in your tracks and make you take a deep breath and exhale with a long sigh….
Instead, we were sharing with our future generation our most precious keepsake ornaments. Most of these ornaments have accumulated tiny marks and scars from little fingers over many December moons.
For our sons first Christmas, we let him pick out his very own ornament. His blue eyes began to glaze over at all the silver bells, golden trumpets and tiny reindeer with glitter. There must have been a hundred ornaments on the store display. He passed by them all…
Then he saw it…
His face lit up,
His arms reached out, it was love at first sight.
He insisted on holding it throughout the store – by the time we got home the body was missing and the head had multiple puncture wounds from his tooth.
It was difficult to tell if it was a happy clown or a sad clown. It just looked like a scared clown.
Many of our ornaments may look like something you might find in a dumpster. But, the value of these ornaments to us? Priceless.
This little sleeping mouse was our daughter’s prized possession on her first Christmas. When she turned 2 she learned that when you color on a styrofoam cup and bake it – it becomes a treasured masterpiece.
We continued the tradition of the kids getting a unique ornament each year. The Christmas Moose with the tennis racket and the Hiking Racoon with the backpack. They all hold unique and special memories – but only to us. And now those memories are being passed on to the next generation.
This year I heard our daughter tell her young boys about her favorite “happy little girl on the swing”. I watched their little faces as they tried to picture their momma as a little girl, who loved this ornament. Carefully cradling it in their tiny hands – they now loved it too.
This “little girl on the swing” gets to be “front and center” on our tree this year.
Had anyone else gone through these boxes of old ornaments – they would have kept the shiny ones and gotten rid of these old things.
Just the opposite of what we have done. Our keepers had long lost their external sparkle. But their internal sparkle is timeless.
One day we hope these will be hung by the hands of yet another generation.
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All photos, thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own.
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