This year marks 19 years that I have been called “Mum.”
And to celebrate, I decided that this week was a good week to put up the tree.
Over the years, I have been gifted a few dozen adorable, handmade ornaments from my kids. Paper sandwich bags seemed to work best for wrapping these little gifts, along with carefully curled sparkly ribbon, and their printing, the words each written with the large letters inconsistently spaced.
Year after year, the cards kept improving and maturing—just like them.
This year, I will likely not receive handmade ornaments, as my kids are all older now. This year, though, I am regifted each ornament once again.
My tree twinkles with popsicle stick reindeer, marshmallow snowmen, a macaroni angel, and some handprint balls. My tree makes me smile, and it makes me remember what matters the most: to give and to receive love.
This year, my Christmas tree theme is homemade.
This year, as I admire the glow of tiny handprints pressed into clay or their names painted onto shiny hanging balls that lay in between soft, white lights and wooden, beaded garland. Resting on the bows one more year, complete with that carefully curled ribbon, these ornaments remind me of the significance of simplicity.
They were made with love—pure and simple.
This time of year is usually a little stressful, too. Many scrounge to make gift giving possible, and this year, many might find themselves feeling like they cannot give much.
This year, many people may not be able to buy gifts at all, and while this reality hurts, I think that we can all use tough times as opportunities. We can remind ourselves, our children, and each other that simple gifts are significant. The thought really is what matters.
Gifts like homemade ornaments and cards, a hand-written Christmas letter, a telephone conversation, or sharing in singing a Christmas carol together over video chat can provide smiles and gratitude too.
Christmas 2020 may not be much like any other Christmas we’ve experienced, but with the help of keeping things simple—and maybe even homemade—I think it can be a memorable year for many of us.
This year, my Christmas tree theme sums up my life: simple and carefully made with love!