Thursday, December 10, 2009

why I cried when we put up the tree

I suppose it's safe to say that I was a little emotional this year.

Extra-emotional, even. Jeff kept looking me over, and grinning. Yes, the tears flowed freely this year.

Decorating the Christmas tree is always a special time for our family. We have a special, very particular order in which we put on our ornaments. After the tree is upright and the lights and garland (when we can find it, which isn't the case this year!) are on, Jeff and I hang our "Our First Christmas Together"ornament from 1997.

Then we pull out each of the boys' "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments. Each is silver, and each is inscribed with the child's name and birth year. Benjamin hangs his sweet baby rattle, Kyle hangs his Mother Goose book, and Owen has a tiny silver-and-blue baby shoe. It's like a re-telling of how our family became what it is. Two hearts joined as one...Ben...Kyle...Owen. I wonder what sweet silver ornament will join the telling in 2010.

There's something so sentimental for me about taking out all those beloved trinkets. Each one has a story. The clay, white-and-azure "Noel" we found at the Renaissance Festival in Kansas City. The potted daisy my very first best friend painted for me when we were in kindergarten. My snowman collection. The Snowbabies Jeff's parents gave my boys, each of which bears the simple, true words "From God."

But I think it was the music that really got me.

Those words. Those tried and true words.

"For Unto Us a Child is Born."
"Emmanuel, God with us."
"What Child is This?"

And one of our CDs has a reading of the birth of Jesus by a child: it undoes me every single time I hear it. Those familiar, unbelievably precious words.

These words speak the truth about the meaning of Christmas. It isn't about the gifts. It isn't about the candy. It isn't about the warm fuzzies, or the lights. It's not even about family.

It's about a promise.
Oh what a precious promise
Oh what a gift of love
The wait is finally over
And the time has finally come

For the God who made this world
To draw back the curtain
And unveil His passion for the heart of man
Oh what a precious Promise
Lying in a stable in Bethlehem.

Oh what a precious Promise
Lying in a stable in Bethlehem

~"Precious Promise" by Steven Curtis Chapman

1 comment:

steve and corrine said...

Well, I have to confess that I read this blog the other night and then copied it and used it in my sermon series on God's Indescribable Gift when I preached on the Perfect Gift. Bragged just a little on you! I love the way that you write and express the deep emotions that we all feel.

Dad Isom