Well we are only on the second day of the Countdown and my devotion this morning that I have been reading all year spoke about how we err when we “count down” the days til Christmas…sigh…everyone’s a critic.
His point was that instead of counting down days until the main event, the entire Advent Season IS the event.
And since I can’t argue my point of defense with him, I shall with you…our Countdown is never to mark days off until the Christmas Eve service, dinner with family and stockings/gift party on the morning of the 25th.
Our Countdown on the Journey is meant to be a daily celebration of the season Christmas.
So now that we are clear…
This ornament is one I would be handed gingerly every year to place on the tree along with ascending order of sizes representing my sister, mom and dad.
I say gingerly because the crafter of this little gem (and it is little…less than two inches in diameter) was fashioned from the lid of a tin can. It is both beautiful and dangerous.
The one who made these for our family is lost to me, have no idea and is one of several questions I wish I could ask my mom about.
While I do not know its origin, I know its place in my heart.
It is a reminder of my place in my birth family and a childhood of Christmas’s where shoeboxes of ornaments were pulled out and placed on metal hooks and hung on our tree in a variety of homes around this country.
It is a lesson in the way traditions of a family can give a child an anchor when other things seem to always be in flux around him or her.
It is a thread that links this 63 year old grandma back to a school age girl who would sit and gaze at the twinkling lights of that year’s tree and rest in the certainty that no matter what the year has been like, in December we will celebrate the birth of Jesus with the oddest assortment of both mangers and Santa Clause figures…cookies and communion…giving and receiving…bright lights and dark stables…Luke and The Grinch…every year.
It is a reminder that beauty comes with some dangerous edges and joy and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. Life is filled with both and all ranges in between and joy and sorrow mingled at the Cross where all of who I am is found. It is where all of who you are will be found.
Do you have a special ornament that reminds you of your place in your birth family?
Perhaps you could peer into the tree this year and find that one tucked away this year and thank God for placing you where He did, in the family He did, in the times He did.
If you are separated from family by choice or death, I pray for God to soften the places that are hurting and bring you comfort and peace. I say a prayer for those who are estranged from their family in any way and I ask for God to bring you restoration with or without a reuniting.
I understand this pain and I know God is faithful