Normally, I'm not a fan of ornaments (as in ornamentation that gives an air of fanciness), but when it comes to ornaments on the Christmas tree...they become living histories of family life. As predicted, Sara and I spent much of Friday and Saturday putting up Christmas decorations. We love it. It's one of our favorite times of the year and while we put up ornaments we remember and smile (you know that smile that says, "yeah, that was fun"?). We have collected ornaments since we were married and we have boxes, but some always make the tree. Here are just a few (I mean just a few, we literally have hundreds) of the ornaments and the stories behind them:
1. Sara's mom and dad passed down some ornaments from their early years of marriage which are walnuts rolled in glitter. They were poor, but creative! And when the lights shine on them, they are beautiful!
2. A ceramic Mary holding baby Jesus that says "Baby's first Christmas". It was in 1988 and Mikey was a month old when a youth sponsor in Lexington bought it for us. Sorry, no special ornament for Caleb's first year (that's what happens when you're not firstborn).
3. We have some gold musical instruments that we bought on our honey moon in Gatlingburg TN (insert your jokes here). We have always been fans of Christmas and we always remember that day in the Christmas store in May (with matching airbrushed t-shirts).
4. A new one is a replica Corinthian wine pitcher from our trip to Greece last year. It's a cool reminder of walking in the ruins of the ancient Bible city and what life there must have been.
5. We have a glass nativity set of ornaments that Sandi Knapp brought back to us from Russia after one mission trip she went on. Very cool.
6. We have a glass ball with a picture of a former small group that we were in (Lynne Sugai made it for everyone in the group). We always think about those people and those times when we put it on the tree.
7. There is a pretty fancy angel ornament that used to sit on the top of our tree when we were first married. When we moved to our current home we bought a 12 foot tree (it's huge) and so the former angel on top was too small for this big tree. We laugh at how out of control our tree is now.
8. We collect ornaments from places we have travelled like: paper stars from a Moravian settlement in North Carolina, an ivory ornament from Maui, a white house from our D.C. trip a couple of years ago, a minuteman from colonial Williamsburg, some boots from Prescott Arizona and of course an Indianapolis, Indiana ornament.
9. We have a collection of ornaments that Sara cross-stitched the first year we were married when we were in school - they always take us back to that humble mobile home at Johnson Bible College.
10. Of course, we have a Starbucks ornament - because I have a problem!