It is finally time to put away the Christmas decorations for another year. Why does it seem to take so much longer than when I put them up?
One thing I observe almost every year as I take the ornaments out of their boxes, but more so as I put them away in their boxes after Christmas, is how the various ornaments bring back memories of different times in my life or old friends. Some I have received from friends that I haven't seen in many years, and it makes me wonder how they are doing. Other ornaments remind me of groups that I once belonged to that had an ornament exchange. Then the memories of not only that group, but that entire phase of my life come to the forefront of my thoughts. 'This one was when we first moved to Redmond'; 'this one I won at a Bunco party on that snowy day'. 'This one was from a friend who has now moved far away, and I haven't met most of her children'. And so on.
The ones that I seem to cherish the most are (naturally) the ones that my mom made. She loved to crochet little angels, and I have several of them. She also made me a hot air balloon ornament that she crocheted. No matter how tattered it may become, I'll never discard it. The ornaments made by my children of course remind me of their elementary school days.
Our tree gets more and more cluttered each year with ornaments, as we accumulate more experiences and relationships. I imagine that there will be a time in my life when I will want to de-clutter my Christmas tree, but for now, I celebrate the messiness of it. It serves as a reminder of how very blessed, how very rich our family life is.
Praise be to God.