Monday, January 24, 2011

Telling a Story With Ornaments

Still behind. Our Christmas tree, sans ornaments, is STILL up in our living room. Oh well, that’s how we roll! Anyway, this post has been floating in my head since the beginning of December!

Ornaments tell a story. For that reason, ornaments are one of my favorite gifts to receive from family and friends. I’m a sucker for mementos anyway (just ask my husband or mom). Ornaments make wonderful mementos, pulled out of boxes year after year, attached to some memory: a new house, a trip to Notr.e for a football game, etc.

I still have ornaments from my days as a high school youth minister, an elementary school student, or even a preschooler (don’t worry, I’ll spare you the latter). My husband still has the plush Tig.ger ornament I gave him the first Christmas we began dating. I also have many childhood ornaments, including a plush velvet stocking from one of my early Christmases. Since starting a family (which began on our wedding day, not the day we became pregnant), the ornaments have also told a story:

First Christmas together, 2006:

Last year (December 2009) I decided to make an ornament to remember my journey (at the time) towards adoption. I even chose the South Korean flag colors as the background. While painting the ornament with fellow blogger Molly, I thought about holding a sweet Korean baby in my arms the following Christmas.

That same year, the IF blogsphere began a prayer buddy effort. My Advent Prayer buddy was In All Things Good, who also started a blog called D.C. Baby. She sent me this beautiful hand woven basket ornament from somewhere in Africa. Inside, she enclosed a handwritten note containing a prayer asking God to send me a child.

2009 came, thankfully, to an end. 2010 arrived and became one of the most exciting years of my life. Around mid-December, I finally hung the ornaments on the tree, which was a miraculous feat to perform with a newborn in the house. After waiting so long, this was the first ornament that went on the tree:

I also loved this ornament at the mall:

Not surprisingly, the “waiting for baby” ornament hung nearby. I plan to arrange those two ornaments likewise next year. The “waiting” ornaments will always remain a powerful reminder of the long journey it took for KB to come into our lives. Perhaps in a future Christmas she will understand their story. I think infertility should never be forgotten. Amid the whirlwind of KB’s arrival, the ornaments became a powerful memory of sorrowful days past that now point to the gift known as Katie Beth. As an added bonus, my Advent prayer buddy gave birth to her baby boy 2 weeks after KB.

I don’t know what additional ornaments we will have on the tree in December 2011. But I know the story will continue…


Jenny said...

I love it! I am a huge fan of sentimental Christmas ornaments that tell a story... the one's that every year when you put them on the tree you'll think of that memory or of who gave them to you! Our tree is filled with them and I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Becky said...

While I, too, love ornaments, I'm commenting to tell you how much I love this post. It was beautifully written and you've told such a special story. KB will know how much she was wanted and loved, even before you knew where she was coming from.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Such a beautiful testament, those ornaments on the tree :)

WheelbarrowRider said...

Beautiful post! I totally agree about ornaments and love watching our tree have more personality each year (and yes, ours is still up WITH ornaments). I still have ornaments from my childhood, such as the ones we painted them with our parents and one my 3rd grade teacher crossstitched for each of us.

Tridentine Wife said...

That is such a great idea, maybe I should start collecting ornaments. Oh and we just took our tree down last weekend ;)

Percolating Petals said...

Thanks, everyone! I cannot tell you how much better I feel to know that others still have their tree up as well. :) The GOAL: take the tree down by Ash Wednesday.

JellyBelly said...

What a wonderful way to tell a story!!!!

And I think you should leave the tree up and decorate for each holiday. I have a girlfriend that does that and it's a hoot!