Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pay It Forward

My friend Terri  is participating in a handmade gift in a "pay it forward" project. She then is paying it forward by  sending something handmade to three blogging friends. I am the first on the list!!

But I am not going to wait for Terri's gift (she said it will take 365 days).....So now I'm going to pay it forward. I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on this post requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days; that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. Are you game?   I hope so!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

lost ornaments...

So, this weekend we got a fresh tree and pulled out all of our Christmas stuff, and began decorating.

We haven't done this since the move to Boston.  

This year, though, I just needed a tree.  I needed to have our home festive.  I needed the presence of extra lights and memories and love....

I put the pipe cleaner elves on the potbelly stove-pipe--the ones I made with my 6th grade homeroom when I was teaching...I hung white lights from the porch outside and stuffed red eucalyptis in the tree.  What fragrance!

Beloved has a boatload of ornaments...her mother was totally into Christmas and showered her children with ornaments from around the world.  Some of them are probably 50 years old--very retro. It was a blast marveling at them.

In my family, we didn't have special ornaments. --we usually hung lights and tinsel and those shiny balls.  The only ornaments from my childhood that had meaning for me were a little shrinky dink bird and a personalized brass piano--both gifts from my piano teacher. 

I looked forward to discovering them and placing on the tree.  Happily, I hung my meager collection from my 20s and 30s--gifts from children and friends, some of my own choosing....just waiting to find those two oldest ornaments from my childhood....

They didn't turn up. At. All.  I loved remembering them, but some how they didn't make it to Boston.  Honestly, maybe they didn't even make it out of Florida, where I lived before seminary. 

I felt a pang of sadness...they were gone...
And yet, the pang passed as I realized I didn't need the object...
the memory of their "specialness" had lingered...
and now, every year when I decorate, I will think of those ornaments, gifted to me as a child,
treasures, really,
when ever I place ANY ornament on the tree. 

That's the thing with gifts, isn't it?
It's not the actual gift, the physical thing...
but the love and goodness that come with them that is everlasting.
Forever more and evermore.