We have all seen them; the amazingly decorated THEMED Christmas trees.
The kind where the latest colors are carefully chosen and everything "that color" is bought up by way of ornaments, tinsel, garland, etc. They are a wonder to behold, really. Often, it is set in a place to keep safe from little hands destroying perfection. It can actually become the showcase of Christmas decorating in a home.
Ours isn't that.
It never has. Our trees are filled with ornaments of memories like when one of our twins wanted to be different from the other and decided to like Michigan State rather than Michigan. He received an ornament to remember that. Or, the ornament made in school by my little brother two decades ago: a sled crafted using popsicle sticks and markers. Perhaps the precious ornaments Nana gave her grand babies before there were so many that it would take a small fortune to purchase them each year for all of them. Just before we married, we received one which makes us think on the days when it was just us. Some make us laugh like the one from our good friends that says, with two snowmen on it "our best friends are flakes." Some just lay in pieces at the bottom of our ornament box hoping that a little elf will secretly repair them so we don't have to.
So this year my husband comments, "this tree is a little homeschool."
We homeschool. We love homeschooling but our tree feels a bit homemade, a tad too crafty, less refined, slightly kittywampus, absolutely no tinsel. And yet, in some ways it's perfect. Perfect because, with Selah's "Oh Holy Night" playing, we reminisce about the memories behind each ornament. It's our part of oral tradition. It is our way of remembering all we have been through, God's graciousness in our lives over the years. Then, as patriarch of our family, my husband places the star on the top, like a period at the end of a sentence. Completed.
Now that I think about it, our tree IS a theme tree.
The theme of our tree isn't the beauty we can purchase from a store. It isn't glittery or fancy. Instead, it is the beauty of us, reflected in our tree. We are less refined, a tad crafty, definitely homemade, slightly kittywampus, and constantly waiting to be repaired. If we were perfect, it would be so easy to rely on our own decoration and less on the one who decorates us.
What decorates your tree this year?
Is it the decoration that will remain much longer than December? When the glory of the season fades, will your inner adornment remain and even grow in beauty? May we strive for that, learning to quiet ourselves long enough to listen to what Father says about us. Be encouraged friends. You are amazingly beautiful. Believe it and make it even more real this year!