Eighteen Ornaments

All the gifts were wrapped for Christmas, but this one box of sparkly white wooden snowflake ornaments. The exquisite snowflakes, most likely laser cut, were intricate, nine different designs, two of each. Somehow they had captured me one day as I shopped for a birthday gift. Who needs more ornaments? Were we even putting up our tree this year? Still, the ornaments begged to come home with me. Now the mystery trying to solve itself… what actually should I do with them?

This is the first Christmas I can recall that we have not put up our tree. Up in the garage attic, it rests just a bit out of safe reach for us old folks. Yes, the wreaths are up outside, and the nativity is set in place on the sideboard. Flickering candles and a red poinsettia flanked by sprays of silver fronds grace the center of the mantle. Miniature lights glisten in the pine bough swag under the mantle and over the fireplace. A new addition, the pure white gnome angel our daughter-in-law recently crafted for us, is silent sentinel over all. It appears this year the snow globe tree and the eight-inch tall air-fern Christmas tree will stand duty. With no large tree as usual, hopefully our home still reflects that Christmas warmth and cheer we anticipate each year.

My mind flittered again through possibilities for the ornaments. Gift the whole box? Suspend them at different heights in front of a dark wooden door in a tree shape? Nothing seemed to settle in my mind… until this morning. Quickly I started counting on my fingers while saying the names out loud, all the names of our children, their spouses, and our grands. Seventeen, if you count dear hubby and me. What fun! With eighteen ornaments there is “an extra one to grow on!” An extra for hopes to come.

It matters not the tree, the gifts, the decor… the true meaning of Christmas is so much more! And each time snow falls from Heaven I will remember these thoughts of holding of our family close. An ornament for each, to take their way as they go. I cannot keep my dear ones physically near, no more than I can hold a snowflake in my palm. Yet like snowflakes swirling through this worldly time, I will enjoy the beauty of their lives blessing mine, while releasing them back into the heart of God.

~~~

Whenever you see a snowflake fall   
Thousands of millions of billions of trillions Remember each flake shows a bit of how much You are cherished, cared for, treasured, and loved

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