Last weekend, with my grandson “Boo’s” help, I put up my Christmas tree. It definitely doesn’t look like anything out of a magazine. My ornaments range from homemade reindeer made out of candy canes and pipe cleaners to construction paper cut by overzealous preschoolers with pictures their happy little faces carefully, if crookedly, glued on top. We also have a tradition of purchasing a dated Hallmark ornament every year—more than one on years where weddings take place or babies are born.
For me, the process of decorating the tree is always an occasion of happy memories and a few tears. This year, as I removed each ornament from its box, I explained the significance to an over-excited and not-always-interested three-year-old boy who thought the cheap-o shiny glass bulbs were of more interest than the carefully handcrafted ornaments. Occasionally, though, his big blue eyes would light up with curiosity.
“This is your mommy when she was little.”
“Look! It’s Santa Claus.”
“Here’s baby Jesus with his mommy Mary.”
“This is you when you were just a bitty baby.”
At one point I pulled out an American bulldog ornament from a few years ago. “Hey, this ornament looks like Rubble on the Double,” I exclaimed. (From the children’s show Paw Patrol, for the uninitiated.)
Boo rolled his eyes. “No, Granny. That’s a regular puppy.” I stand corrected.
In Yuletide Baby, my December release from Harlequin Love Inspired, my heroine Heather’s tree tells a story. It’s not decorated with strings of lights and expensive ornaments. Rather, she’s strung popcorn and cranberries with her three foster children. When Pastor Shawn enters the picture with baby Noelle, it is Heather’s tree that first opens his eyes to Heather’s large, caring heart.
Every day since our tree went up last Friday, Boo comes to me with the same request—
“Granny, let’s go see the tree that we make-ded.” He’ll flip on the lights and we’ll exclaim in delight at how beautiful it is. I love sharing his enthusiasm for Christmas, the excitement never dims. And it reminds me that, just like a child, I should always find joy and excitement in the season. We're looking back at a most blessed event, but also forward to our Lord's coming again, and what could be more exciting than that?
Wishing you much joy and delight during the blessed seasons of Advent and Christmas. May you fall more and more in love with our Savior Jesus Christ as you take time to remember His humble birth and the wonderful advent of His return.
And also, if you happen to have decorated a Christmas tree this year, may you enjoy what you make-ded.