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Friday, December 21, 2007

My traditions

I'm feeling better today. The floors are vacuumed and the dishes washed. I lit several candles and I have Christmas music playing. Come with me as I point out some of my traditional decorations.

This little tree is one of the first items I set out. It belonged to my grandmother Craft. My mother's mom was a dynamic lady. She became an evangelist and traveled all over the south. She built five churches and helped mother with her ministry. I remember visiting her one Christmas before she passed. She was staying in a broken down apartment complex. This tree and the following Santa was her only decoration. I sat beside her expecting a sad story about her circumstances. Instead she tried to comfort me and tell me how wonderful the Christmas story was. She told me not to feel sorry for her that Christmas was in her heart not in her needs. I learned a lot from her and my life is better because of the things she taught me.

It's important that I decorate with items that cause me to ponder life and all the wonderful people I've met. It helps me to remember the good memories that can bring that person back for the holidays - even if it's only with a smile. Our local hospital sends out a monthly magazine. One of it's articles was entitled, "Heavy Hearts during the Holidays." It talked about people who have lost loved ones and how they cope. "A helpful, healing way to celebrate the holiday season is to find a way to memorialize your loved one. Start a new tradition such as buying a Christmas tree ornament each year in memory of that special person." I agree. Decorating with items that remind you of the good in the past or the love for someone dear can heal and inspire.

The next item I put up is an angel. She sits on our mantel and reminds us of all the innocent love that surrounds us. It's ceramic and was made by my Aunt Delaine. She sent it to me the year before her grand-daughter Ashley passed away with leukemia. She was a beautiful young lady and was loved by everyone. Ron and I prayed for her and hoped that healing would be God's will. I don't understand his purpose, but every year I look at our "Ashley Angel" and I pray for the family. I thank God that because he came to earth, we will see her again.

Next I begin putting out all my little houses, ceramics and music boxes. I love putting this one by itself. It's a little Santa house. If you look closely you will see that all the windows are missing. When Ken was about two and walking, he spent many hours staring at the few houses I had at that time. More than once I caught him reaching out hoping to touch. "No, no Kenny. We just look. We don't touch." Just to be sure his curiosity was explored once or twice I sat him in my lap and let him finger each house. I was sure he had been a very good boy that year. When it was time to put the Christmas houses away I noticed each window (made of tissue paper) had been popped by some one's little finger. I never replaced the windows. I decided that it should stand as a monument to a child's irresistible curiosity.

This is most of the rest of my houses. I love making a different scene every year. I think about all the wonderful snowy Christmases I've enjoyed.

What decorations do you set out? Tomorrow I'll show you our most prized Christmas decoration - Our Christian Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas,
God loves you


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