Decorating the tree sends me back in time. We open box after box of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, faithfully given by my mother. Our First Christmas Together and Baby's 1st (times 4) mingle with Veggie Tales, Iron Man, Barbie, and Harry Potter. Each child will have 18+ ornaments to start trees when they feather their own nests.
I was 10 years old when this iconic holiday movie came out. My classmate and I each handed over $3.50 of allowance money to buy tickets at the Florida Triple (now replaced by a CVS). I remember laughing a lot and throwing Sugar Babies at the people a few rows in front of us.
For most of my married life (21 years), this movie has been part of our Christmas Eve tradition. We nosh appetizers and finger food, drink sparkling cider from champagne flutes, and scheme and fret along with Ralphie in his quest for the Red Ryder BB Gun with a "compass, and a stock, and this thing which tells time."
At some point after I got married, my mom gave me her collection of handmade ornaments. There are no less than 25 stitched and stuffed colorful puffy ornaments...hearts, angels, Santas, wreathes, birds. Also included in this labor-of-love collection are 20+ tiny framed cross-stitch reindeer, gingerbread houses, mice, bears, and toys. Every time I hang them, I am amazed by and appreciate the many hours my mom put into these family treasures.
I made these twisted paper ribbon candy canes for our first tree. I remember what a pain it was to untwist the ribbon so I could work it into shape. Anyone else remember crafting with this stuff in the 80s and 90s?
These shoes were a gift for my third child who was just an infant when we celebrated the Millennium Christmas. His was a difficult birth surrounded by some trauma for both of us. I struggled with severe postpartum depression. After seeking help from my husband, my doctor, and my Savior, I slowly began to emerge from the dark foggy days. That Christmas marks the beginning of the light dawning in my darkness.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever
follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
I am not a medical or counseling professional, but from my own experience I can tell you that if you are struggling with depression, there IS HOPE. Talk to a trusted friend, seek professional help, and check these out:
- Overcoming Anxiety and Depression *Based on my own experience, I agree with most of this article, except his opinion about medication being rarely necessary. Medication can often help level out your anxiety/depression to the point where you can function well enough to begin the work of healing through therapy.
- Conquering Depression *This book helped me learn to identify what was causing, contributing to, and intensifying my anxiety and depression and gave me tools to fight back.
- American Association of Christian Counselors *If you are a church member, you may want to start by talking with your pastor for counsel and recommendations of christian counselors in your area. I cannot stress enough how valuable counseling has been for me...and the necessity to work with a counselor who will use scripture to help direct you to the truly Wonderful Counselor who knows you better than you know yourself.
For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His
shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6