Thursday, December 23, 2010 Lucy

Shell ornament to remind us of our time in Acapulco-made by Joanna

A friend made these for us when we got married

I made these stockings one year for Christmas
A friend gave me this carousel that really turns
Recognize this family?

A few days after we returned to Mexico, we went on a search for the perfect Christmas tree. We went to a tree farm nearby, without jackets, gloves, hats, or boots. There was no need for hot chocolate when we returned home because the weather was beautiful and sunny. Weird, huh?

Soon we were busy stringing lights on the tree and listening to Christmas carols. Then out came the boxes of ornaments. I love this part, opening the boxes, and remembering each ornament and when it was given or made, and the people who gave or made them.

Mark has quite a few handmade stitched ornaments made by his mom, his grandma Mac, and his aunt Ginger. My mom has also stitched some snowmen and made angels out of pasta. Each one is placed on the tree with reminders of their makers.

We also put up the ornaments that Aaron and Joanna have made through the years. There are the Santas they each made in 2nd grade from little flower pots turned upside down. There are angels made from construction paper and aluminum foil. There are snowflakes made from pipe cleaners and glitter. There are numerous ornaments they have made with their photos in them. They always make us laugh. And of course, there are the "baby's first Christmas" ornaments with photos as well.

I also have school ornaments. I have a stocking with my name on one side, and the year "1973" on the other side. I think I was in Mrs. Gotshall's class when a room-mom gave us those stockings. I also have ornaments that students have given me. One is a glass ball with black and gold paint inside and a Panther paw painted on the outside for the Pioneer Panthers! Mark has a Santa he made when he was little that is practically falling apart now!

We also have ornaments that represent something about us. I have a soccer ball from the time when I was a "ball girl" for the soccer team at Huntington College. Mark has one with Greek letters on it from his years in the Sigma Chi fraternity at Hanover College. He also has an ornament with a fireman on it that reminds us of his time as a volunteer fireman in Royal Center, IN. Aaron has one from his time spent in marching band, and there is a snowman on the tree that Joanna made during her time in Student Council. She also loves to paint, so she has painted pictures on some glass balls. We also have an ornament of the old Shiloh Church to remind us of family and friends there.

Probably the largest number of ornaments on our tree revolve around the Christmas story. We have ornaments with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, ornaments with the three wise men, ornaments with the shepherds, and ornaments with angels. Of course, there is a large star at the top of the tree.

Remembering the real reason for the season is easy when I sit and look at our tree. It tells the story of Jesus' birth, and the ripple effects that has had on our lives through the people represented there. The tree is full of memories and reminders of our Savior who came to redeem the world. The tree itself is also a reminder of God's mercy to us. We went in search of the "perfect" tree for Christmas, but Jesus died on the perfect tree over 2,000 years ago. And the perfect gift wasn't found under the tree, but on it! Praise God for the perfect gift He gave that first Christmas, the life of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!--2 Corinthians 9:15

Merry CHRISTmas to all the world!

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