A Christmas to remember with awe

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016

Perhaps we are born knowing a little Christmas magic. Perhaps the history of Christmas wears off on us over time. I’m not sure how I know. I just do.

Today is my first day with my new family. They bought me at a big box store. “Look, Mike! This one is just full of little white lights. And, it has almost three thousand branch tips.”

And so, they brought me home and set me up. Is that when the magic began?

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When Sue hung the first ornament, I felt a rush through my branches as if there were a strong wind blowing memories my way.

The ornament was an old-fashioned clothes pin fashioned into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made by a little boy named Chris the year his stepfather adopted him. The other ornaments spoke to me, too.

A plaster-of-paris star painted bright yellow by little Michael hummed “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” a pounded copper partridge-in-a-pear tree fashioned by 7-year-old Chase took up the refrain of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

And, the Saint Nicholas worshipping the child in the manger ornament, beloved by little Nick, belted out “What Child is This?”

As my lights twinkled, the family hung ornaments that spoke of love; two turtle doves cuddled over a red wooden heart, a waltzing couple from

1989, a ten-year anniversary ornament from 1992 and, finally, two baby’s first Christmas ornaments made of fine bone China embossed with each child’s name.

Thirty-four years of family history swept through me. There was life in each memory and that life took on a light of its own and became part of Christmas this very year, too.

But, toward the top of the tree hung a beautiful white-and-gold angel ornament purchased in memory of Allison, the young mother who died this year.

The year 2016 is printed in silver on the star she holds. Allison was the one who loved Christmas more than anybody and I wish her family knew what I know; that she still lives with those of us who remember the magic of the season. The sound of carols and the mercy strangers sometimes show to poor children at Christmas.

Near the top of me, Mike hangs the baby New Year’s Day ornament holding a baby bottle and the promise of a new year. At my very top beams forth light and goodwill from the lighted angel to any passerby who happens to see her through the window.

With my golden ribbons and silver and gold Christmas balls, I must admit, not too modestly, that I am beautiful this year.

I have collected the awe and wonder of two thousand years, and if you stop and look for it, you will see the love light gleaming for you, too.

By Rebecca Drouilhet