Saturday, November 27

Decking the Halls

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  Thanksgiving is over and at our house we are preparing for the Christmas season. Hooray!!!!!
Today we finished decorating our Christmas tree.  Here are some of the stories behind my favorite ornaments. Enjoy!

10 years ago my husband and I decided an artificial tree would be the way to go. He is not one to decorate nor go buy a real tree so this agreement has proved to help keep our marriage healthy! This is a real sacrifice for me because growing up, my family always had a real tree and it was something I looked forward to every year at Christmas. I am thankful for the memories of finding a tree with my dad all those years. But like Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing." It's a good thing for our marriage! It definitely has reduced some of the stress at Christmastime.

I bought this ornament seven years ago to add to our tree because I wanted to remember the JOY of Jesus at Christmas. I was looking for a word ornament to place on our tree. I was so excited when I found it! Just looking at this word on our tree reminds our family of the true reason for Christmas- JESUS CHRIST. The joy of the birth of Jesus. The Joy of His Salvation. The Joy of the Resurrection. The Joy of one day forever living with Him in Heaven. The joy of Jesus is what I talk about a lot on this blog so I wanted  to share with you this very special ornament. Joy from Jesus is not just something I write about. It's something I want to treasure and remember that He gave me. This is a way I remember the Joy of Jesus at Christmas.

This ornament is very, very special to me. My music minister's wife from my home church, Mrs. Nell Mangum, gave this to me the first year of our marriage. (She was like a second mother to me in many ways. I have lots of second mothers from my home church that I still treasure to this day. )This ornament is ten years old. Every year Nell would give me ornaments at Christmas. I always appreciated them, but this one I treasure now even more. Years later, the book of Joshua came to mean a lot to me through intense personal study and the verse on the church, Joshua 24:15, has become the mission verse for our family. When she gave me this ornament, I had not studied the book of Joshua like I did later. So at first, it was just a pretty ornament with a verse on it. Later, when this verse became the mission verse of our family, I treasured this ornament even more. Five years ago, Nell lost her battle with cancer and I don't receive any more ornaments from her. So this ornament even has become even more special to me through the years. She and Mr. Walter never had any children but I know she loved me like her own. So this ornament is all I have left of her. I always thank God for her presence in my life and praise God I will see her again in heaven one glorious day. How I miss her Christmas presents each year.

When my son was two he LOVED penguins. He called them, "win wins." So the hunt for penguin ornaments began. He still loves them to this day. So needless to say, we have added a few more to our tree!!

A very special friend gave me this ornament. It's the best reminder of why we celebrate Christmas on my tree.

How I treasure this ornament. My son was 2 1/2 when he painted this ornament with his little finger. When he is old, I know it will mean much more to me than it does now.

My parents bought this ornament for me for my first Christmas out of college. I hang it high so it won't fall and break.
And LAST but not least....... the bell ornament I received from a family member for my son's first Christmas.
He likes to ring it now because I put his toy train around the tree. It has become the train bell now!

And the final result of the tree?....... looks much better than it did when we started!

Hope you all are getting your halls decked out for the season. Would love to hear your favorite ornament stories too!

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