Decorating at Christmas is a little like stepping into a time machine. As I hang each ornament and put other treasures out for the season, I’m transported to Christmases past. I remember when my parents got the carved olive wood caravan from missionaries who visited our church. Mom remembers how the student who gave her the candy cane cart struggled with spelling; he became vice president of a large corporation. There are three pieces that especially make me feel the rush of time.
One is the plastic canvas mouse that peeks out of a silver thimble. It was made for me by the mother of my first husband’s best friend. We lost touch many years ago, but I’ll never forget her kindness (and I’m still using her muffin tin). Another is the cross-stitched ornament Bill and I received when we got married. This is the 20th time I’ve hung that one thinking how grateful I am to have this second chance. The friend who made it has a child getting married this summer. I need to get started on an ornament for her. The third is the stocking I hang by the chimney with care. It’s made of green felt with red machine embroidery. I’ve never had a name and face to attach to the lady who made stockings for me and my sister. My family moved when I was just a few months old and lost touch, but the stocking has been part of my holiday tradition for more than half a century.
In the flurry of holiday celebrations, you may at some point wonder if the children and young people who receive your handmade gifts really appreciate them. I can’t promise that they will. But if you ever get a chance to step into a time machine, you might be surprised to find what an important role you play in the lives around you.
It truly is a wonderful life. Thank you for the gift of your time during this holiday season. Merry Christmas.