Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Smiling Snowman Ornament

I sat down this evening, with my pen and notebook, and looked at our Christmas tree.  The lights were on and it looked lovely.  In particular, looking at it this time, I noticed a snowman decoration.  I love its expression, its hat and its carrot nose.  It is such a joyful looking snowman.

As I looked at this decoration, I wondered where it came from.  I took a look at the back and confirmed that it is one of the ornaments my aunt has sent my son every year.  She paints an ornament and puts a greeting and the date on the back.  This snowman is from 2005.  We lost one of the collection due to breakage but we have all the rest.  It is a special collection.

Earlier today, I was at a mall.  I spent some time browsing in the Christmas sections of a few stores.  I thought I might find some decorative item I liked.  I didn't.  That's ok.

I suppose if I had found something I loved, something that really caught my eye (and was reasonably priced), it would be nice to buy it.  Perhaps it would become a part of our Christmas traditions.  But for a number of reasons, I am glad that I didn't buy anything.  Some of the reasons are quite standard - the spirit of Christmas is not to be found in things, I don't need to spend money on something unnecessary when I could (theoretically at least) donate that money to a worthy cause, we have enough Christmas decorations already.  My primary reason for being glad I bought nothing ties into the last of those reasons but it goes further.

Yes, we have enough Christmas decorations.  Already, there is an element of dread before I decorate for the season and I when I undecorate after the season.  But it's also nice to take some time and appreciate what we have.  If what we have seems like too much "stuff," the individual items have lost their meanings.  So many of the items do have meanings or stories.  Simply looking at that one snowman ornament was a nice experience this evening.  Random items purchased to add to the decor would never offer so much.

Next time I sit down and look at the tree, I will look at another ornament and try to recall its story.  There are the two dogs in stockings that somehow go back to when I was in kindergarten.  There are many ornaments that my husband acquired as he grew up.  My son has different ones.  I have an absolute favourite that has pink and green flowers.  I love them all.

Happily I have found new appreciation for the Christmas beauty already in my home.  I think this extends beyond the Christmas season as well and into our lives.  Appreciating what we have is so much nicer than seeking "it," whatever "it" is, out there.

So now, we will settle in to enjoy the season and hope that the big rabbit doesn't chew the Christmas tree cords and set the tree, presents and anything nearby on fire.  Even if (when) he does that, we won't need to replace every "thing" right away.  But I might ask my aunt to start sending non-flammable ornaments.  It would be nice to have a few sentimental items.



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