My Favorite Ornament This Year

I look forward to putting up our Christmas tree every year! Though our tree is a hodge-podge of ribbons, garland, ornaments and lights, each branch holds special memories.

Beautiful ribbons used to decorate the sanctuary for our wedding ceremony hang around the tree. Unique, hand-crafted ornaments that Matt’s grandmother made for him adorn the areas children can reach, and we invite Jackson and Lauren to touch and play with them. Almost every year we’ve been married, Matt and I have bought a nativity-themed ornament. In recent years, we have had the wonderful occasions to add ornaments marking the birth and first Christmas for each of our children.

But, this year, my favorite decoration is made of construction paper.

Jackson made this stocking ornament himself, and it's even personally signed on the back!

I’m sure this is one of many handmade ornaments from my children that will hang from the branches of our Christmas tree in years to come. But, this is the first real ornament Jackson has made on his own, with his personal signature on the back.

I’ve hung this special ornament right in the middle on the front of the tree, so I see it multiple times a day. It reminds me of God’s amazing love for me, that He would be so kind to bless me with a family. And, it makes me desire to love God even more in gratitude for the children He has given me.

This is the same reason why I hang Jackson and Lauren’s creations on the refrigerator. I am so proud of their growth and accomplishments, whether it is beautiful, colorful scribbles all over every inch of a paper (and my table) or a backward “N” at the end of a scrawled name written with flourish. They are my children, and their artwork, schoolwork and pictures displayed are a reminder to me and to them of how much I love them.

I think that is why we display Christmas trees in the first place. It is a visible sign of the true meaning of Christmas, a beautiful picture of the greatest gift ever given: Jesus. He came to set us free through paying the ransom for our sins with His very life nailed to a tree.

Not only will I treasure the ornament Jackson made for me, each time I pass by our Christmas tree this year I will celebrate the God who came to make a way for both of us to have life everlasting.

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