Melinda Eye Cooper
Our Christmas tree has always been very eclectic. I've got a bunch of ornaments that don't match and I like it that way.
They have been given to me over the years as gifts from friends, relatives and co-workers. They have come on top of presents as part of the gift wrap. I've won them in games played at work or family gatherings. I've collected them over a period of twenty eight years or so.
I still have a bird's nest that my husband and I found in our very first Christmas tree that we cut down ourselves in 1989!
What I love most about decorating the tree each year is opening the container of ornaments and being reminded of different people or times in my life when I received a particular ornament.
As I decorated the tree this year, my little sister was on my mind. It will be the first Christmas since she lost her son, Brandon, earlier this year.
My husband was helping me get all the Christmas stuff set out and I said, "I'd really like to get Janet something special but I don't even know what to get her."
She's been blessed with many wonderful gifts since Brandon's death. She's received jewelry, blankets, benches, plants, flowers, and some co-workers even bought her a pair of leggings to remind her of Brandon. I just couldn't imagine what I could get her that would be special and give her comfort this holiday season.
All the while I was pulling out ornaments and hanging them on the tree remembering where they came from and who gave them to me. Then I gasped as I pulled out my KU ornament Janet had given me a few years ago. I'd completely forgotten I had it.
She'd written his name on the back of it along with his football jersey number. I held it up and sighed. What a little treasure I held in my hand! Forgotten treasure.
My little sister had been the one to give me the gift...not the other way around.
My heart was full and tears welled up as I hung it on the tree and remembered him.
I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3 (NIV)