Christmas Memories Hung on a Tree

Her daughter would soon be off to college, but she knew there were blessings yet to come.

- Posted on Oct 3, 2013

A red Christmas ornament with gold glitter and Micaela's kindergarten picture

It was our last Christmas with our only child, Micaela, before she left for college, and I dreaded the silence of the empty nest most of all. How will I get through this? I wondered, reaching into a box of ornaments to trim the tree.

On top was a clear pacifier with a bow. I’d bought it when I first found out I was pregnant. My husband and I hung it on the tree for my visiting in-laws to discover. I’d never forget our excitement when they realized what it meant!

Next to it was Micaela’s kindergarten ornament. Micaela and I had made it together, decorating the red bulb with glitter and gluing her school picture to the front. When it was finished I showed Micaela my own kindergarten photo. “Mommy,” she said, “I look just like you.” Even now, we resembled each other.

I unwrapped a piano music box that played Beethoven’s Für Elise—our gift to Micaela when she was 14 and had mastered the piece after years of lessons. I pushed play, letting the melody take me back.

With each ornament I hung, I was filled with the peace of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Micaela would only be a phone call away. In the meantime, I had years of memories to treasure, years of Christmas visits ahead, and room in my heart (and on the tree!) for all the blessings yet to come.


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