Jan 3, 2012

Sacred moments...




It's only 6:15 in the morning and I've been up for almost two hours now.  In the quiet and solitude I have been taking down Christmas.  This is the task I always dread...not because of the work involved, but because it is such an emotional time for me.  Of course I will need and welcome my hubby's help to carry the boxes to the basement, drag the tree down the steps, and remove the wreaths from the windows.  But taking the hundreds of ornaments off the tree (yes, hundreds) is something I almost always do by myself.  


I love the Christmas season.  All of it.  I love what we celebrate, the greatest moment in all of history when God came to dwell among us.  I love the story that will never grow old.  I hate putting all the stuff away that brings back so many precious memories of Christmas past.  Because it's not really the "stuff"...it's the relationships that the stuff represents.  God came to live and die as one of us to show us how to have an intimate relationship with Him. Relationships are important.


My ornaments aren't valuable in terms of their retail worth.  Many of them are hand made.  A few are pretty old and have sentimental value.  But all of them hold a memory of a special time or of a person or a place.  For 35 years now I've been accumulating ornaments and tenderly packing them away at the end of each season.  I don't mean to have so many! But it just happens.  The oldest one was my dad's favorite.  He first hung it on the tree the year I was born.  Then there's the plaster ornaments I painted for each of our boys for their respective first Christmases; the stuffed ornaments I sewed years ago; special ornaments friends and family have given me over the years; Ornaments my kids made when they were little...and now ornaments my grandchildren have made.  


These are sacred moments for me.  A quiet time where no one except God knows my inward thoughts.  Only He really understands why this is so emotional for me.  I don't understand it myself.  I always cry.  My mind always goes back in time to remember people who were once a part of my life and aren't any longer...to former times and places that have helped to shape who I am today.  Maybe that's it...These ornaments help tell a story...my story...my life.  It's a story of generations too. Four generations of our family are represented here.  This really isn't about stuff...it's about people.  People whose lives have in some way intertwined with mine.  I am so blessed.



10 comments:

Debbie said...

This sounds so familiar, as if I were writing it instead of reading it. I'm sure many women experience these feelings but you sure managed to put it into words what I can only feel sometimes. I'm so glad I stopped to visit you this morning, though I feel I stumbled onto you in a personal moment. Thank you for sharing this! Keep a box of tissues ever handy!
Deb

Ellie said...

Very good post, Mom. It's not Christmas ornaments that do this to me--it's usually music. I play old cds that remind me or road trips, ex-girlfriends, high school, falling in love with Ellie, and all the rest. I'm often brought to tears, and I've only got 15 or so years of significant memories consciously attached to them.

Ellie said...

PS---That's Andy, not Ellie

Shirley said...

I tend to think about the ornaments as they are put on the tree. Don and I talk about special ones as I hang them. Since Missy's death, we buy an ornament for her each year. This year, her son gave us an ornament, and we opted for that to be her 2011 ornament. It has a yellow cat on it that reminds me of her cat, Tony. He hated everyone but Missy. I felt so sorry for him after her death. And we have an old yellow Fiestaware pitcher that Don's mother made Kool Aid in when he was a kid. He has such fond memories of that pitcher being used. One Christmas at Cracker Barrel, I found a yellow Fiestaware pitcher ornament just like his prized pitcher. I surprised him with it that year. It is so special to him. I used the girls' baby mobiles for ornaments after they outgrew them. One year, I gave each of them all their special ornaments from the tree. What special memories Christmas has given to us all over the years...a collage of our lives.

Dar said...

Oh Jacquelyn, how you have hit it right on the head for me also. It IS an emotional time, opening the pages of our lives. It is good. The 'cry' always clears the air for me, preparing me, somewhat, for another year of growth, be it happy or sad. I have boxed many of my ornaments which now decorate our children's trees...each box is sealed with our passion.
Love your ornaments, your past. We all have one and we all remember somehow. Have a wonderful year. I will look forward to seeing your tree full of love again next Christmas which really is every day.
BlessYourHeart

Rebecca said...

It IS about relationships! Unique connections with family members and friends that come to surface at times like these. In a way, it's a review - like for a test....things you forget during the year come to surface as you handle these symbols, however simple they be...

(After reading this, I'm thankful I didn't dig too far to decorate a big tree this year! And I think I"ll leave the lights on the "Christmas pole" lit awhile longer...)

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Yes, I feel the same way and I was suppose to start today and the tree is still full and nothing has been done. I just love the way everything looks and this Christmas was so wonderful I want to hang on to it a little longer. Great post!

Beth E. said...

I also dread taking the ornaments off the tree...my birthday is January 1, and my dad always took the Christmas tree down on that day. It would make me so sad! Now that I'm grown, I always wait until after my birthday before all the Christmas decorations are put away. As I am typing this, both of my Christmas trees are twinkling...I wont' take them down until this coming weekend.

I have found a way to put things away gradually, making it easier for myself...I leave all the snowmen and snowglobes out until the end of January. ;-)

Diana said...

I am so opposite from you Jacquelyn,I'm usually glad to put them away! But I love looking at them while they are up. I guess it all depends on experiences!
Happy New Year to you! Love Di ♥

Jennifer said...

This article is precious. It could be in a Christian magazine..... Love it!