Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When Things Aren't Things

This summer, we went through a major house purge. We got rid of a lot of "things." If we didn't use it, if it wasn't functional, or if it didn't bring us joy, it went. "It's just things" became our mantra. Since, we have been trying to be really intentional about what we bring into our home. Less really is more.

Except, sometimes things aren't just things. When we were in Napoleon, Mom offered to let us go through some of the Christmas things that had belonged to Grandma. Grandma loved Christmas, and I have to believe that in her corner of Heaven she gets to decorate a tree every day. She also loved Christmas singing toys, and I seem to have caught the bug. Before we even started looking, I mentioned that the one toy I would really like was a Santa riding Rudolph. It is probably one of the oldest, and it's not even that exciting, but for some reason it's always the one that comes to mind first. When Aunt Carol walked in with it the next day, I burst into tears. It wasn't about the things; it was about the memories. The memories of decorating with her. The memories of playing the toys over and over and over and never once being told to stop. It was the joy.

Before we came home, we sorted through some boxes and the kids helped me choose some pieces to bring home. Grandma always put up a teddy bear tree, so we were sure to bring home plenty of bears--and toys. The kids picked some that were their favorites; I chose some that I had strong memories of. And Brad, because he is the kindest husband, announced we just became a two tree family:
The kiddos helped me put this up Monday night. We named the angel bear on top Julia, after Grandma, and it brings me such joy every time I walk past. I love seeing the kids playing with the toys, and I loved watching their tiny hands tuck teddy bears into branches. I could almost see Grandma sitting by in one of her Christmas sweaters just beaming.

We work really, really hard to make sure our December is filled with joy. There is no Christmas kabobble. We say no to as many events as we say yes to. We make time to read books and watch movies and drink cocoa. It's the way I remember Christmas as a child, and I want the same for my kids. Someday, I want these things to be so much more than things to them...because they certainly are for me.

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