Some traditions are hard and complicated and then there are those that are just down right easy and sweet. Hold onto to those and treasure them.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is that easy. It started before I can seem to remember. We have always dedicated our Christmas tree. Whenever we decorated the tree my sisters, Mom and I would begin the discussion of someone who passed away that year. As we finished and were putting on the angel we would take a moment to remember the one who had passed on. Even in years when we were brokenhearted in our loss we treasured this time as we recalled the goodness of the Lord in our lives through that person.
Every single year of our married life, Taylor and I have continued this tradition. For 21 years we have chosen to dedicate each and every tree. We dedicate in memory and also we honor the babies that have been born that year.
As I began to think back I asked my sister Missy about this tradition. She said that she and her daughter have also done this every year in their home.
As I think back over the Christmases I grow nostalgic. I am remembering different dedications.
Mr. Forest Parkey who was a dear mentor whose life made such in impact in our lives as well as in the lives of so many others. When we came for a visit he would load up all my children on his ATV and head for the woods. I would get a break to visit with Mrs. Liz as he was having adventures with the children. They still talk about fun with Mr. Forest.
Drew Crossett was a precious young man who went home to be with Jesus too early it seems to us. I am so grateful we got to be a small part of his story and had the opportunity to watch how the Lord touched his life and how he used it to touch the lives of so many.
TJ Ross was also another young man who could literally strum a guitar one time and make me start crying. His voice was truly a gift from the Father. I look forward to hearing him sing again one day.
Aunt Helen’s year was one of special rejoicing. She lived everyone of her 90+ years to their fullest and was ready to go meet Jesus. We were excited for her.
Babies, babies and more babies. Some of those babies are about to graduate from college now. I do love the years when there is a baby coming in the world as some wonderful saint has headed home.
It is so sweet to my heart to listen to our children as they think back over the years of dedications. It is never ever hard deciding who to dedicate our tree to. This year was no different. Our dear friends, Adam and Melanie, have adopted a new baby. We dedicated the tree to this precious gift from God. She is our snuggle buddy and warms our heart with her smile.
If you are looking for an easy tradition to start with your family this has been a precious one to our family. But I do have one suggestion. Keep a list of your dedications. This year, after 21 years of dedicating trees, I realized how precious it would have been to have kept a list we could look back over through the years and remember the lives of these people we love or loved so dearly.
Some friends and I are locking arms to bring you more peaceful content this holiday. Robin Evans has written a wonderful article, Minor Keys and Paying for These... that is such an encouragement! Their family has traditions that will shock your socks off. I have never heard of their Santa ideas…let me know if you have.
Janelle Esker wrote one you won’t want to miss called New Family Tradition Christmas Nails. She shares with an idea that would be a wonderful craft/gift that could easily become a brand new tradition! Even the little folks in your home can help with this one.