I have heard that there are people who will come and professionally decorate your Christmas tree. I am sure they are exquisite, perfectly proportioned, with ornaments displayed in a way to dazzle and impress. Ours will never be that tree.
Each year our tree is different from the year before...mostly because there are so many ornaments and not enough energy to place them all on the branches. But there are certain ornaments that always make the cut. They are the heart of our decorations....they are the history of our Christmas.
There are the small traced hands of children now grown, and the knitted bells made by my Mom to supplement our first tree when ornaments were a luxury we could not afford. There is the child's scrawled note to Santa voicing concern about whether he could find us when we were traveling from Chicago to California for Christmas.
There is a small hymm book, purchased by Jonathan for our tree when he was a small child. On that particular Christmas we took the children to downtown Chicago to share with them the wonderful window displays. Jonathan had filled his pockets with a small amount of change he had saved. As we walked by the incredible Peacocks Jewelry Store ( the Chicago equivalent of Tiffany's in New York), Jonathan made us stop and he announced that he was going inside to buy our family a Christmas present. We were not allowed to go inside, because he wanted this to be a surprise.
My heart was heavy for my little boy. What could he buy with a handful of change in a store that intimidated me by its displays of silver and fine jewelry? He boldly walked in and was met by a clerk that I was sure would show him the door. Instead she took him by hand and later he walked out with a beautifully wrapped present and a smile that warmed my heart. The hymm book is a favorite ornament that always reminds me of the goodness of the season.
No tree is complete without an angel to place at the highest point. Ours was made by a very talented little girl who won the prize in a contest at a local deli I can still she her proud smile as she collected the gift basket of goodies that was her reward.
And this year I added one ornament to our tree....a blue bird of happiness. It will be a reminder of a Christmas Season that has brought us all great joy and contentment. It will be a reminder to be optimistic for our year to come and that those things that are most precious are from the heart. Our tree may not be the most perfectly decorated tree, but its perfection lies in the memories it holds. Seen with those eyes, it is perfect in every way.