Taking down the Christmas tree was never as enjoyable as putting it up, but
the frail lady in 9B was wrapping each ornament with care. First, she had a
crystal angel that was a stocking stuffer given to her from her friendly
young neighbor in 9C Christmas morning. Since her son lived so far away,
her neighbor would visit her on holidays.
Then there was a bright, blue
ball with a glittery "2000" on both sides covered with stars. The youth had
made one for all the seniors in the church. Next, she began wrapping a
brilliant white, ceramic "Happy 40th Anniversary" piece. She received it
from her husband last year as a token of their long life together. His
wedding band was hanging from it, reminding her of recently laying to rest
She put on a big smile when reaching for the next one. It was
a picture of her granddaughter in a plastic frame covered with baby items.
It was given to her 3 years ago when Kimberly had her first Christmas.
Kimmie, as her grandmother called her, had her eyes and mouth and Grandpa's
curly hair. This picture always brought a smile.
There was the owl
ornament holding a diploma. She found it when shopping for a Christmas
present for her son who was moving to a new city. He just graduated from
collage with a degree in electrical engineering. The new job he found was
where the weather was warm and for a present she had gotten him pair of
Bermuda shorts. Then she found the decoration he had made when he was in
6th grade. It was the larger half of a green, plastic egg that had a small
picture of a lamb glued inside. There was glitter on the outside and a thin
strip of yellow yarn hung it to the tree. When Michael presented to her
this handmade gift, she knew it must have taken a technical, creative mind
to fashion it. There was the snowman Michael made at Sunday school when he
was 3. It had a Styrofoam body and a tinfoil hat. His arms were made from
an orange pipe cleaner and the eyes had been drawn in with a black marker.
The next piece was a pair of porcelain booties. It said, "Baby's First
Christmas" in light blue. It was from her mother who had passed away right
after Michael's first Christmas. Then she wrapped up a wooden cross that
her uncle had given her and her husband for their first Christmas. The
words "Peace on Earth" were burned across the middle. Her uncle said it was
from the tree he used to play in as a child on the family farm. Finally
there was the dried mistletoe that her and her beloved first kissed under.
It was at an office Christmas party where they had eyes for each other. He
kissed her under the doorway between the coffee room and the accounting
The box of ornamental treasures brought back a lifetime of
memories. She put it back high on a shelf in the top of the hallway closet,
to keep for another year.
What did Christmas mean to the frail lady in 9B?
Love, family, friends and a hope-filled future with the living Savior. What
does it mean to you?
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