Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

We finally gathered everyone in the house together so we could decorate the Christmas tree. The poor neglected tree has just been gathering dust downstairs for a couple of weeks. Schedules were just too hectic. Bah, humbug.

With the proclamation of "Tonight is the Night- NO matter what," the gala event took place last night. Let the Spirit fill us.

The TV was turned off and the classical Christmas hymns was turned on and enveloped us all in a sense of peace. The dogs posed for their Christmas photo, complete with reindeer atlers and a Santa hat. The family laughed, but more importantly, we laughed together. The little one found the 12 Days of Christmas book and alternated between singing and reading it aloud to the rest of us.

Lovingly, we looked at each ornament. Memories of long ago Christmases flew through the air. Here's the one from our first Christmas as man and wife, here's one from Baby's First Christmas, here's one my mama gave me when I bought my first house, and on and on.

The lump in my throat expanded with each ornament and soon the tears fell. So many Christmases have gone by. So many memories came alive. And for a time last night, my beloved mama and papa were in the room with me as my mind placed some of these same ornaments on the trees of my childhood.

I have so many favorite ornaments. Two memories that came to the surface last night included ornaments my mama had given me.

One is an American Flag with a 1991 date on it. My mom bought that ornament in memory of my dad, an American soldier. She wanted to honor my father's memory and wanted me to remember the service my dad gave to his country. At the time, I was kinda humbug about the ornament, but now the American Flag ornament is always in a place of prominence as I think about my dad and his commitment to our country.

The other ornament which caught my attention last night was a small gold church. When my mom gave it to me so many years ago, she made a statement. Not only did she make a statement, I can still clearly recall her face, her voice and her love as she made it. "I love this church with its steeple. I love having the church on a tree. After all, Jesus Christ and His Church are the only reason we have Christmas."

Rest in peace, my loving parents. May I always remember their love of God, home and country. May I continue to teach my children the same values.

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