Hubby & I have been married for 36 years. We feel like it’s a pretty darn good accomplishment to have survived the vicissitudes of married life and be more ‘newlywed’ in love than ever.
Our first Christmas together was not great. We were home from university, pregnant with our first child, and we had decided we couldn’t afford to go back to the States for school. We were housesitting for a couple of weeks for a family that had gone to Mexico for Christmas. We couldn’t afford a tree, and they had said we could use their artificial tree (yech!) and their ornaments. I was so depressed. I’d never had an artificial tree growing up. I loved the smell of pine that came into the house when the tree came in – and now that tradition had been interrupted!
About two days before Christmas, I decided a plastic tree (they did not look real 35 years ago) was better than no tree, so we set it up. Then SHE showed up – one of my closest friends (L.D.) from high school, who had also been my maid of honor and got married a year before I did. We blame her for this now – and well she deserves it.
She gave us a Christmas tree ornament. For some reason Hubby started a tradition of getting me an ornament every year after that – and it soon evolved to being a tree ornament and a creche. A few years later I went and bought a four-foot tall (dare I say it?) artificial tree to put my ornaments on. One of my greatest joys at Christmas time now is setting up my tree, reliving all the love that is in those ornaments, and feeling the joy of my Savior’s birth and life as I gently unpack 38 creches. (Sometimes Hubby has been known to get me a creche tree ornament and a counter top creche in the same year.) I have so many now that I’ve had to resort to putting some in the kitchen on top of the fridge and freezer.
My daughters tease me that the only thing they want from me when I die is my tree ornaments and creches.
So, I blame it all on L.D., with a thankful, love-filled heart, that she showed up with something for my heart when it was heavy that first married Christmas.
I hope you had a lovely Christmas, surrounded by family and friends and the Savior’s love.