Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What Losing My Decorations Taught Me...

Recently my husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary. 11 years of ups, downs, ins and outs. 11 years of exciting adventures and sometimes scary events. 11 years of tears, laughter and emotions I never even knew existed. That means 11 years of Christmases together. 11 years of building up that box of tree decorations that meant so very much to me.

See, this time of year is my absolute favorite. I start decorating as soon as I can sneak it past my hubby. He thinks Christmas carols shouldn't be played till Christmas eve and that the decorations don't come out till the day after Thanksgiving. ;-) He's really not a Scrooge, he just doesn't think it should come out till December . I get that. Some people are that way. Me? I'd probably start after Halloween if he'd let me.

So a few weeks ago I just had a thought hit me. I need to go through our stuff and start seeing what I want out. It's a new house and our first year here so I'm super excited about all the ways we can decorate. I have a fireplace now and a big front porch. You know, the key decorating spots.

So Boo Bear and I start pulling things out to go through them and check on them. Also to let them air out because I do NOT want to bring any spiders or creepy things in the house WITH the decorations.

Well I go through a few boxes and find that somehow one of my globes got broken and my homemade tree skirt is absolutely ruined. I was a little upset but ok. These things can be replaced. Gives me a reason to sew again, right?

After going through all the boxes, I realize I can't find the actual ornaments that go on the tree. I sort of panic but realize there's a tote on the top of the shelf that my sweet hubby will have to get down when he gets home. I'm sure that's where they are.

They weren't. I turned this entire house upside down looking for that tote. I KNOW we got things out of our house before we moved. EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING else for Christmas is here. So where is that box?? Why is that the one box missing?

Needless to say, I was extremely upset and heartbroken. I cried most of that day. It was 11 years of memories wrapped up into little tiny items that we remembered as we put them on the tree. It was ornaments made for our wedding. It was ornaments that we got for our first Christmas and Boo Bears first Christmas. It was ornaments we bought on all our trips we had taken as a couple. One like this one that, thankfully, my mom had a copy of.

While it was extremely upsetting, it taught me a lot. Things I think I knew but really got a good lesson on it when this happened.

1. Things are just that. Things - It's not a person. It's an object. It symbolizes memories but the memories are what's precious. While I have all those memories, I can make new ones too. Keeping those memories alive is in telling them and passing them down. I have them in my heart and they can never go away from there.

2. My son is a compassionate and kind soul -. I honestly knew that but what he did still amazes me. He knew how upset I was. I took some time and went to the store by myself so I could just let it all sink in and get downtime. When I came back this child had been busy. He was making me ornaments to put on my tree. Handmade ornaments were something I lost and he was trying his best to replace them. Those paper ornaments are on my tree now and I will do my best to protect them. He also got his Mimi to pick out an ornament from him so he could give it to us for our anniversary.

3. Make New Memories - Yes I knew that but still. We are making new memories with each day. Like our recent visit to Chattanooga. We got an ornament to start our new collection with.

4. Sometimes you have to let go.- No I won't bust out singing the Frozen song but it does kind of fit. I had to let go of what I was holding on to. Christmas isn't about the ornaments on the tree. It isn't about how many I can fit on there or the object itself. It's hard. It's not fun and it can hurt. But letting go can be the best thing sometimes.

5. It's ok to start over. - That's exactly what it felt like. I had to start all over. And that's okay. Thankfully my mom is as much a Christmas addict as I am and had plenty to share with us. :)

6. It's all about the manger. - That's really what it all boils down to. It's about the most precious gift that was given to us. That amazing baby born to save the world. No matter how many decorations we have out, it's about Jesus and his coming to this Earth to save us. The peace I have only comes from Him. His voice came through loud and clear in the middle of this moment.

So, we have started over. Our tree looks beautiful and new memories are being made. New ornaments or passed down ornaments from my parents, have taken over and made it a beautiful tree once again.

So I'll smile. I'll enjoy the season and all it means. I'll pass on memories to my son of Christmases gone by and what they mean. We will keep those memories alive in our hearts and enjoy these new memories to come.


  1. Oh Jen, this is an awesome post! It is so heartfelt and anyone who reads it will know that. I am so thankful that we were able to pass down those ornaments and help y'all out. But, I am still heartbroken about your loss, but you are right. They are just things. One of the greatest memories is still with you and that is Boo Bear. He is the most precious one, too. Jesus' s birth is why we celebrate this season anyway. He is why we love this season so much. Yes, the lights are awesome, the tree is great, but I love celebrating our Savior's birth. Great post!

  2. What a wonderful reminder to us all. Things are just things and it is the people in our lives that build the memories no matter what things we have. Welcome back to the Crew, I am looking forward to working with you again.

    1. Thank you Lisa! I'm looking forward to it as well!

  3. I totally understand the feeling of being upset. I had some ornaments that were very special to me and well I can't find them, some got broken when the tree fell when my daughter was younger, and well we started a new collection. I use to get an ornament every year when I was a kid from my aunt and my grandpa. I try to make sure each year the kids make a new ornament for the tree. I think your son is pretty amazing how he worked so hard to make you ornaments for the tree to surprise you. My husband won't let me put up the tree till the day after Thanksgiving. Beautiful Tree. Thank you for joining in the link up.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Thanks for hosting the link up.

  4. Beautiful post. God bless you. Great lessons!

  5. Your heart speaks so loud and clear a voice of reason during a time of materialism. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry about the loss and understand your devastation. I am thankful that you were able to so clearly put into words the process of recovery and peace that you went through. - Lori

    1. Thank you for stopping by Lori! I appreciate the visit. It still hits me at times but I'm thankful that God is always there to gently remind me of His presence.

  6. Awww, I'm sorry to hear you lost your ornaments. My ornaments are the same... precious and sentimental. I love the heart your son has though... what a sweetheart to get busy making ornaments.

    I also love the "lessons" you took away from this experience. Thank you so much for sharing these with us.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    PS- I found you through Throwback Thursday.


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