Ahhh, the holiday season. A time of holiday parties, gift buying, cookie making and Christmas movies. And it’s a wonderful time for Christmas traditions. Some traditions are commonplace for many of us: putting up the Christmas tree, going to see Santa or sending out Christmas cards. There’s one Christmas tradition that I just love every year. It’s a tradition that started when Denis and I were dating. Each year we buy an ornament that best represents that year. We now have a collection of 16+ ornaments that we decorate the tree with each year. Looking over our collection I see a mixture of both happy times and difficult times. Allow me to share a few.
This year was marked by a LOT of infertility treatments, including a laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis removal. Although none of our treatments were successful, we were clinging to the knowledge that there’s a season for everything under heaven (from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). We remained hopeful that God would bring us the desires of our hearts.
This year was highlighted as a year of hoping, waiting and praying. We claimed Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” We had completed our home study and we were waiting to adopt. Hoping and praying for our chance to become parents. And trying to be patient while we waited.
The year Olivia was born and we became a family! 😊 Our hopes and dreams were fulfilled by our faithful God.
Overall, the ornaments show some years that were mountain-top moments and some years that we held on extra tightly to our faith to carry us through. I can tell you that the hard times have made the good times all that much sweeter. But the constant through it all is God’s love and faithfulness. He’s given us a source of constant joy throughout our lives, regardless of our circumstances.
And that’s what the season is ultimately all about. It’s our chance to focus our attention on Jesus’ birth. The Emmanuel: God with us. The long-awaited promise coming to life. And we get to benefit from that event to this day. We get to slow down and spend time with family knowing that we have a God who loved us so much that He sent His own Son to earth. The Christmas story changes everything, and it gives us a deeper meaning and purpose to our lives, despite what “milestone ornament” type of year we might be having.
I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season. If you’re going through a hard year, I see you and I’d be honored to pray for you (if I’m not already 😊). And if you’re having a great year, I’m rejoicing with you (if I’m not already, too). But most importantly I wish you a season of being able to slow down enough to cherish in your heart that you are immensely loved, and you have a source of eternal faith, hope and love.
What about you, what’s one of your favorite or unique Christmas traditions that you follow?