There's the one that says "First Christmas Together - 1984" & features an outline of a couple dancing.
And then there's the two "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments w/ pictures from 21 & 19 years ago.
And the building from "It's A Wonderful Life" that lights up.
Oh, and there's the white & black cat ornaments. For the previous 17 years, they both were here. Now the white one is gone.
And the bell from the lighted string that my Mom bought for us after her youngest grandson James ooh'd & aah'd over it @ the mall.
There's the "Mike" ornament that used to hang on Christmas trees in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. And the blue dove one that hung on trees in Silas, AL.
Of course, there's the crab ornament from Key West. And the "University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy" ornament that's new this year.
And the Lion King ornament featuring Simba on his Dad's back.
Across the room is a Santa Claus that dates back to roughly 1958. Purchased for an infant boy who never really liked it so much. His younger brother not yet born in 1958--a handsome fellow who blogs a bit now & then when not teaching Econ & Finance--came to love that Santa as dearly as a little boy can love anything. Of course, now that he's grown, that's abated. As far as you know.
Out front, are the poorly laid out Christmas lights. Think "Clark Grizwold minus the $$ & skill" and you're about right.
In the kitchen, of course, are the Christmas dishes that were purchased in Gatlinburg, TN with the last of the disposable $$ near the end of the honeymoon in June 1984.
Next to me is the giant coffee cup given by a former student. HS students give gifts to their teachers; college students not so much. Which I understand.
Near me on a shelf is a hand-carved wooden nativity purchsed in the amazing market located in central Krakow, Poland. Word is, that market has been in operation for over 800 years. I love that it has the traditional manger scene characters, plus a mountain farmer/shepherd on the side kneeling in adoration.
I love the stories behind the ornaments & decorations--and this is but a sample, I assure you. The history, and the instant triggering of vivid cherished memories. That's a big part of the magic of Christmas to me.
But more, I love the cherished memory that goes far deeper in my soul. Of great loss & seperation...and of promises...anticipation...and then their fulfillment in a child born to poor peasants in a backwoods wide-spot-in-the-road. And the restoration that child offers based on the gruesome end of his young earthly life on a hillside outside of town, not that far from where he was born.
Tonight, we'll go to the Christmas Eve service at church and cherish the friendship & celebration & worship & re-telling of the story that binds us together.
It is my prayer that 50 years from now, my grandchildren & great grandchildren will be remembering the stories capture in ornaments, decorations, & nativity scenes. Much more, though, I pray they will be celebrating the story of stories.
But you, OBethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One Who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name 'Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Merry Christmas, my friends!