Last Monday evening, Misty, Davidson and I put up our family Christmas tree. This is one of my favorite activities we do during the holiday season. The greenery on the tree is festive. The lights glowing on the tree are beautiful and calming. The presents that will soon be under the tree will be a reminder of God’s goodness and blessings to us and the God-given joy that gift giving brings. Yet, all of these items on and around the tree are not the main reason that I enjoy and am thankful for our Christmas tree.
I enjoy and am thankful for each ornament that hangs on our tree. They each have a meaning and a story behind them. As we unwrapped them and placed them on the tree, memories flooded though my mind. Some of the ornaments were made by Davidson when he was in pre-school. It’s hard to believe how quickly he has grown up into the young man that Misty and I love today. Some of the ornaments were purchased by Misty and me to commemorate special events and moments in our lives. A couple of the ornaments represent our favorite sports teams. (Some years we enjoy those ornaments more than other years!) Other ornaments were purchased because of their beauty and design.
Of course, there are also those ornaments that have been given to us by the friends we have made throughout the years. These mean a great deal to us. There are ornaments given to us by friends we met in our 20’s who were part of our church family in Tallahassee. Other ornaments were given to us by friends from Chattanooga who blessed our lives while we lived there. There are also ornaments gifted to us by our church family in Louisiana. (Our tree has a Tabasco ornament on it!) These ornaments remind me of the blessing these various people were to us as we shared life with them for a season. We laughed with them, cried with them, worshipped with them, and served in God’s Kingdom together. The memories are sweet, and the ornaments point us to the memories.
I thank my God every time I remember you. Paul wrote these words as he began his letter to the church in Philippi. They were his friends and they blessed his life as he lived amongst them. As I reflect upon the ornaments on our tree, this verse runs through my mind. As I think about each ornament, and the memory associate with it, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the blessings that God has given throughout the year and all of the families that have been part of those blessings. It helps build that grateful heart that I want to have as a follower of Christ.
I hope you are enjoying your tree this year, and if you don’t have a tree, I hope your mind and heart are still flooded with the memories and blessings of this life God has given you.