12 Days of Christmas Ornaments: A Tradition of Memories — Day 12

IMG_3830On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 12 Hopes and Dreams!

11 friends and family, 10 gifts from giving, 9 wooden beauties, 8 family trips, 7 Bruins beating Trojans (38-28!), 6 Asian Orbs, 5 manger scenes! 4 major awards, 3 dancing pigs, 2 handmade bells, and a portrait to put on the tree.

It’s the day before Christmas and for me, this can be either a magical time or a mad rush to finalize the securing of gifts. Sometimes it’s both. But my longing is for the former.

Yes, this can be even a “magical” or supernatural time for adults as well as kids. When our perspective of the special day ahead is aligned to the true meaning, the wonder is there.

I’m reminded of a song I always hear on the radio during the seasons; one of the verses includes this line, “This is my grown up Christmas list…”

As a young child, you may deeply hope for candy. But as you grow, the sophistication of dreams grows along with you. Sometimes that wish grows a little faster than one’s maturity can take (this year my 5-year-old asked Santa for an “ifone” — I don’t think so!)

But if I do my job as a thoughtful parent, I can plant seeds of hope and truth, continuing to nourish it while asking God to grow it up in a healthy manner. I try to remind my kids and myself (over and over) what is really important in this world (things that last: who we become and how we get there, people and how we treat them, God….)

To drive this point home a bit deeper for our family, last year I planted another little seed that has the potential to sprout goodness. We all wrote our hopes and wishes on a gift tag and hung them on the tree as ornaments. Of course, I gave some suggestions to think beyond the tangible. And even my 4-year-old at the time got it or at least, is slowly getting it (see pictured ornament). He had me write about giving food to hungry people. And to make his wish come true, we did just that through the year.

Of course, this takes some effort, but not much. And it’s worth it! Believe me, it’s not just for the kids; I, too, am reminded of the desires God wants us to have, the prayerful hopes and wishes that bring life. In fact, this season is all about life… of a baby who came into this world to give us the ultimate life.

So let us remember through our ornaments, among so many other things, all that makes this life worth living.

Merry Christmas to you all in my cyber world. And Happy Birthday, Jesus!

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