O is for Ornaments
Today devotion is written by Diane Battilana:
I consider myself a pretty practical person. I usually don’t have a lot of attachments to things and sometimes get myself in trouble with the family for ‘tossing before I ask.’ Christmas ornaments, though, bring out my usually dormant sentimental side.
The Battilana Christmas tree would never make it to the cover of ‘Better Homes and Gardens.’ It is largely decorated with home-made ornaments. I have lots of ornaments using popsicle sticks, pinecones, even macaroni, and a number of ‘candid’ photos from the kids. I also have decorations that artistic friends have made and given to me, as well as a few hand-made ornaments from my Mom and lots of needlepoint items that Steve’s grandmother used to make. Though our tree has gotten progressively smaller over the years, the home-made ornaments are a mainstay. They’re not all aesthetically beautiful, (some of them in rather questionable shape) but rather, they are reminders of the people I love, some of whom are now physically gone.
There is something about decorating a Christmas tree that brings back lots of memories of loved ones. As a child, I remember going to my grandmother’s house each Christmas Eve to decorate her tree. My sisters and I just piled the ornaments on haphazardly, sometimes breaking a few in the process. I wish I had one of her old glass balls or reindeer and I still think of her when I trim the tree. My dad had a soft spot for the ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas tree that needed a bit of work to make it passably symmetrical. I think of him drilling holes for wayward branches whenever the tree needs to be turned around to its better side or a branch trimmed.
And one of the biggest things I’ll miss this year at church is hanging an ornament on St. Paul’s tree during our Hanging of the Greens service. I have sometimes added an ornament for a person who is missing that year as a way of making sure they are connected in some way. That simple tradition always makes me a bit tearful as I celebrate my connection to St. Paul’s family.
This year, as I decorate my house and tree with ornaments, I will especially be thinking of all of those I can’t celebrate physically with, especially this year, but are always in my heart.