This year for Christmas (yes, I will always say Merry Christmas), I am working on consciously moving slower. We move too fast almost all the time. This year starting with the Christmas tree, I was deliberately slow. I documented it on Facebook. I took a photo of the empty tree. Two days later, I took a photo of the tree with just a few lights on and then later with just a few ornaments. I told the family as they passed through to put on a few ornaments. Last night, I took the photo you see in this post.
Time for reflection
This allowed me to reflect on the process, to think about the memories attached to the ornaments. See those angels in the top middle? That’s a handmade ornament dating back to my grandmother. She was 72 when I was born and they were on her tree as long as I can remember. She died the day after Christmas in 1979. She met my further husband that year but told me she wasn’t coming to my wedding because she was going home before then. I complained when she said that and told her she could hang around a bit longer, she was 95 then but she knew. We got married in August of 1980.
The tree tells a story. Decisions made, choices, family, history. I think that’s why themed trees never held an appeal for me. I like taking the time to remember and this year, I took that time very slowly.
A few of my favorite things
I’d like to share a few more of the favorite things on my Christmas tree. Yes, it is a real one. I love the smell of the evergreen in the house and don’t mind the mess of the needles. To me, everything is too fast today. We don’t take the time to appreciate things. A real tree – even with needles that will need vacuuming makes me happy.
The next ornament I would like to share with you is the Christmas birds. There are actually many of them all over the tree. In the large photo at the right, you can see one at the top of the tree. At the left, there it is in more detail. The bird says peace to me. They come from my Aunt Gardy who used to work for a special gift store and when she stopped putting up a tree, she passed them on to me. The birds were designed to fit on bulbs and illuminate but since our LED lights are much larger, we only have the birds positioned near the lights. The LEDs are cool lights but we did melt one bird some years back by having it too close to the wrong light. (Christmas memories.)
The tree is wrapped in handmade garland crafted in a third world country and bought at our church’s Mission Store. I make sure I buy something each year from the Mission Store. It lets me have tangible memories of why we need to help others. All of the funds from the store go back to the crafters. In the inset at the left as well as on the tree, you can see the little red tassels. My cousin, Judy, made those when my sons were little. They remind me both of family that I miss and my children’s early years.
There are many handmade items on the tree. Very few were made by me. But I treasure the time put into their crafting and creation. They all allow for contemplation.
Slow down and stop rushing
I think we all rush through everything these days. Seasons overlap each other and we live distracted lives. I am guilty too of being sucked in by electronic devices that take time away from contemplation and even interaction.
Breathe and treasure those moments
Today’s post is a break in my normal job search topics to share with you some of my memories and urge you to slow down. Breathe and treasure those moments. They don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Simple memories will last longer. Slow down, we move too fast.