There is something irresistible about a homespun holiday, the kind my Mama always made, and I tried to emulate throughout the years.
Handmade decorations of crimson red and pine tree green dance upon garlands, if you squint your eyes and imagine.
Twinkling lights reflect off cream-colored walls as snowmen perch high upon shelves.
If you lay really still and gaze up at the Christmas tree with the wonder of a child, you can hear the brush of angels’ wings.
During the holidays, our home comes alive with magical and mesmerizing delights.
I unwrap my collection of handcrafted snowmen, santas, angels, and nativities that my sister and I made.
We made these crafts during our former years as co-owners of Heartwarmers, an arts and crafts business through which we sold gifts that warm the heart.
The magic of Christmas from years gone by enters our home, and I sigh.
We designed and produced each item in our Christmas line, by hand that is, as our children romped and played, fought and frolicked, and sculptured and glued beside us. I was a newly divorced single mom trying to make a living for my two children and myself.
Heartwarmers provided more than a salary. This business gave my children and I a chance to be close to family and do what we loved more than anything else, create.
So when I unwrap creamy angels and carrot-nosed snowmen, I reminisce those days gone by when life began anew, and we held fast to the fortunes of family and the beauty of hope.
When I hang tiny salt dough reindeer on the tree and gently place a Santa, with his garlic press beard, upon the shelf, these magical crafts instantly transport me back in time.
These were the days when little flour caked hands patted faces and tables while making a priceless treasure next to Mommy and Auntie.
Last night, my daughter Skyped me from Vietnam and I gave her a Christmas house tour using my new Mac computer camera. Although she’s seen our decorations since she was a child, I giggled over her “Ahs” as we walked around the house.
“Raise the camera up, Mom, so I can see the Christmas stockings hung on the mantel. Ok, now I want to see the Santa scene high up in that cubby.”
She remembers where each delightful arrangement is because I rarely change the fanfare placement. Christmas is a time for permanence as much as it is for happy thoughts and precious memories. This is the least I can give to my two children and myself after what we have been through in one lifetime.
But more than all of this, Christmas reminds me of an eternal gift.
A sweet baby born that we might inherit eternal life. I see a glimpse of this, every year, when I gaze with amazement at the wooden nativity my sister crafted and painted with her own hands. Humble in form yet powerful in meaning, I remember why I believe.