I read this when I got to work and logged on to my computer this morning, and it has begun my day with visions of Christmas pasts and bittersweet feelings of only having memories and no boxes or plastic containers to unpack filled with the girls’ school crafts to hang on the tree…
The 3 Ugliest Christmas Decorations Known to Man and Why You Should Love Them
One of my most-prized decorations was a Nativity made of clay, not a tree ornament because of its weight, but it was fashioned and formed by little hands. It was not beautiful according to the world’s standards, but I proudly displayed it every year, because Karissa had worked on it and had each character in their rightful place around the tiny manger. Baby Jesus was a rolled piece of clay with a small ball attached to the end for His head. It was a priceless piece of art…
Other ornaments were frames of felt and had glued-on shiny sequins around the edges, with school pictures of the girls in their St. George uniforms, and candy cane Rudolphs with squiggly eyes glued on and pipe cleaner twisted antlers with a red pom-pom nose, or a Rudolph made of a brown construction paper cut-out of one of the girl’s feet, complete with black construction paper antlers and a red paper nose, signed on the backside with crooked lettering that was also priceless.
There was the joke ornament that was given to us one year – an Oklahoma Sooner ornament given to us by the Hall family in Corn that was banished from the tree, but I secretly hung it in the back every year.
Year after year, the hand-made ornaments were packed away after Christmas, only to be pulled back out the next year, with a few more eyes or confetti missing and in the bottom of the box, the construction paper wreaths bent and dog-eared, a candy cane here or there broken or chipped, until one Christmas, the girls were older and the hand-made ornaments and strings of colored lights were replaced with a themed tree of gold and crystal and white and angels, but I always spent time looking at each of the “made with love” ornaments when I decorated the tree. I miss that box. I miss those times when I decorated the tree on the Friday after Thanksgivings reminiscing to myself about the good ‘ol days.
I am grateful for these memories of treasures past.
I am grateful for imperfections that are beautiful because of their story.
I think too often we try to replace the broken with the perfect. Like last night. I set the machine to record “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so that I could watch it after Bingo was over, only to be so disappointed that someone would think it was a good idea to remake the classic with new animated characters slightly updated, new voice-overs and a very edited script. Linus’ distinct little boy voice was not the same…and if there was a monologue of the scripture taken from the book of Luke, I missed it. I was so let down. Don’t mess with nostalgia. Leave it alone.
I am grateful that my Savior was born into a family that was not perfect according to the world’s standards, that He was born in a place that was not sparkling with beauty and shimmering with the royal trimmings that normally surround kings. I am grateful that He sought out the imperfect, the damaged, the broken… and those were the ones who received such love and such grace.
I am grateful for The Accidental Missionary and his gift of writing such heart-warming stories with a message.
I am grateful that although I was let down by the updated version, I could still enjoy the characters and the innocent humor of the Peanuts gang, and one sweet thing was the resemblance of Sally’s voice to my granddaughter Reilly’s voice. I could imagine she was in the room last night. Always find something to appreciate, even in the disappointments.
I am grateful for FedEx who will transport my love for Reilly in a box this week.
And I am grateful for visions of construction paper and Elmer’s glue and sequins and modeling clay and colorful pom-poms and yarn for hanging… and little thumbprints everywhere.