Tree envy.

Yep. I have it. Makes me laugh to say it that way. I didn’t actually say it quite like that, my friend Ana did, after I confessed to her that I am feeling slightly embarrassed by my Christmas tree last year. My coworkers and I were visiting about getting our decorating and shopping done and I shared with them that I had seen a few trees in the homes of friends and family lately and they were beautiful.  The decorations are new and lovely.  They match the home and the personality of each precious family.  It is put together and elegant.

Not the Gibbs’ tree.  Our tree is made up of mix-matched ornaments collected over the last 20 years.  Many made years ago in Mother’s Day Out and then all through elementary school and they are some of my most treasured.  All of the baby’s first Christmases proudly adorn the tree.  And now we have them for three grandbabies (soon to be four)! Brian and I enjoy buying an ornament from the places we have the privilege to visit.  They all hang there as well.  Some have been handed down from relatives we have lost, like Brian’s grandmother and my momma.  Some are slightly faded and worn.  Some have chips in them. There is no theme or color scheme. One thing they do all share, they each have a story. Each one represents a memory.

As is our tradition, we decorate the tree and share the meaning or memory behind the ornament we hang.  So much laughter, a few tears, but joy to the full as we recount people and moments that have meant so much to us.  We take our time and take it in as our blank tree becomes a canvass of Christmas past…full of love, memories and joy.  Our tree would never be displayed in a store or grace the cover of a magazine and likely would not be described as beautiful.  Not by anyone…except us.  A Christmas mess might be more fitting.

Come to think of it…maybe I don’t have tree envy after all.  Sure, I love all the beautiful trees I see. They represent something quite special to their family.  But I believe I will keep our tree…mess and all.  It is a beautiful reflection of my family and His grace, broken ornaments and all.  Because as I take a moment, this quiet evening, to look at the Gibbs family tree, the lights seem to shine most brilliantly through the imperfections.

I am happy to share a couple pictures of our tree.  I would love for you to share a picture of yours and maybe share a little Christmas tradition or story to go along with it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Buy Candy’s book Rescue here! 

Candy GibbsYou can swim confidently into the murky waters of parenting teens! Rescue offers wisdom, encouragement, and practical applications. Working with a group of young “Lifeguards” throughout the book, Candy Gibbs gives struggling parents the life preservers they need to rescue teens from a drowning culture. With Biblical insights and Candy’s own creative techniques, Rescue is the “Noah’s Ark” of parenting books, ensuring that today’s teens will carry on a legacy of godliness to generations to come. Find out more!

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