As a kid I remember the anticipation and impatience of waiting for the adults to decide it was time for the Christmas tree. The impatience quickly turned to excitement as we went in search of the perfect tree. We always had real Christmas trees. Often, over the years, we had a live tree that would be planted in our yard after the celebrations were past.
I never minded carrying the boxes that held the ornaments, lights and tinsel up from the basement. After all, this was the moment I had been waiting for since that sad day a year ago in January when it was all packed away. We always had colored lights and the ornaments were a variety of shiny glass balls that my mom had collected over the years. Some were prettier than others and we all had our favorites.
This morning, sitting with my coffee in the 5:00 a.m. stillness with only the light of this year’s Christmas tree, I began to tour the tree with my eyes and found myself reflecting on the ornaments that adorn the tree. There are several ornaments, including the angel resting atop the tree that my mom made. There is the little sheep made of yarn, cardboard and clothes pins that I received from the kindergarten class my first year as a principal. There are some that were gifts from friends including the Santa, handmade by a friend that reminds me of my dad. There is the papier mache’ dog that hangs on the tree even though its back end has been chewed on by Gracie our dog. There are ornaments representing landmarks in Cincinnati where I grew up and from the places I have traveled. Overall it is an interesting collection!
I had a thought this morning – how sacred is this whole Christmas tree tradition? It holds within its branches many memories of the special people that have touched my life over the years and the wonders of the many places I’ve traveled with family and friends. I hold all these memories in my heart and offer a prayer of thanks for all that has been and a prayer of blessing for memories yet to come.
– Blog entry and photo by Sister Patty Kremer