Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Wonder of Christmas

The little spruce tree above, with its simple decorations and single strand of colourful lights, reminds me so much of the Christmas trees of my girlhood. I even counted the lights and, yes, there seems to be about 25 lights, the standard amount on a string in those days. Just imagine having a single strand of lights on a tree, yet in those days it was enough.

How I loved to smell the spruce needles with their clean, pungent fragrance. How I loved to sit in the living room all aglow in the soft light and just stare into that tree. Admiring, first the red lights, then the green ones, the orange, and the blue. Closing my eyes just a little so the lights would transform into twinkly stars. I'd watch how the pretty ornaments would swing ever so slightly on their little hooks. Taking in the details, and tucking them away in my mind as tenderly as one would pack away delicate, glass ornaments for another year.


One memory never ceases to shimmer for me. I was around six or seven or eight years old. It's just a couple days before Christmas, late in the afternoon as my mom's in the kitchen preparing supper. Outside, it's pitch black, which meant I could plug in the tree lights. Oh joy, oh bliss! And don't tip the water basin.

Carefully sitting myself right in the center of the green chesterfield with its rough, nubby fabric, I proposed to bask in the soft glow of the tree lights. No doubt to also surreptitiously study the parcels -- all gaily wrapped and nestled around the tree base. In the stillness of that room, dim in the corners but cozy with the glow from the coloured sugar-glass tree lights, I stared dreamily into the swirling glass balls and glimmering ribbons of tinsel, and my thoughts grew quiet too.

In such a peaceful moment, I wonder if I didn't get dreamy about all those Christmas cards hanging above my head over a string tied to tiny nails in the door frames. I loved to study the cards, mull over who had sent them and take careful note to see if I was included in the salutation Dear D and E and family. If it said 'family' then I knew it was for me too.

I liked the jolly Santa Clauses, the snowmen with shiny top hats, and the old-fashioned sleighs piled high with beribboned parcels or people laughing. But it was those cards with midnight blue skies, studded with stars and pinpricks of light streaming through tiny earthen windows that captured my imagination most often.

I liked those artistic renditions of little towns of Bethlehem fields with shepherds and wooly sheep. I imagined hearing angels singing from the skies. And of course, I wondered about the Baby Jesus as I thought about him sleeping in a manger where cows and sheep ate lunch. There was that song I knew about Him, the one my mom taught me when I was five... Away in a manger, no crib for a bed...Be near me Lord Jesus I ask thee to stay, close by me forever and love me I pray....

In truth, the details of that particular memory and ones like it shaped my ideal of what Christmas should look and feel like, what it was really all about for me. The tree, the lights, the presents, and singing about the Baby Jesus who slept under midnight blue skies with stars twinkling above.

It's years now since that time. I've never been able to create that kind of moment quite like that again, but there have been many times when I'd have the same peaceful, cozy feeling come and hug me. And I'd feel that same wonder of Christmas. And I knew He was close by me, just as I'd prayed in that little song a long time ago.

Wishing you a wonderful day,


  1. Thank-you for sharing these delightful scenes. You've stirred the own memory treasure-trove. God bless you and yours this Christmas and in the year ahead. I appreciate your constant encouragement and cheer!

    1. oops. meant to say 'my own' instead of 'the own' treasure-trove;))

  2. What a beautiful post and thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures and special memories. Merry Christmas to you... :)

  3. So enjoyed your stories of Christmas...Hope you have a happy and blessed Christmas.

  4. Those memories that e store from childhood are so lovely to meditate upon.

  5. Merry Christmas, Brenda! I really enjoyed reading this essay and I am glad that the feeling hugs you again from time to time.

  6. That was lovely, Brenda. It takes me back...
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. XO
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  7. Lovely post, Brenda :)
    Do you ever imagine HOT CHRISTMAS ? ...tee..heh...in Australia is SUMMER CHRISTMAS !
    My Santa probably wears a short...MOL

    May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, And may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy.



    ❤ ❤ ❤


  8. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Brenda, as we bask in the joy of His coming!

  9. Brenda you have "painted" an very beautiful picture for me, in my minds eye I can see you sitting in the L.R. and gazing with wonder at the lights on the tree, brings back memories for me too!! E.G.

  10. Oh Brenda, your words just took me back to the wonders of my childhood Christmases. My parents are gone now, but reading your blog gave me such vivid memories of the ornaments on our tree, our simple pleasures and the love in that house. It almost overwhelms me with emotion. I now have lots of those ornaments on my tree and all those memories to treasure. Merry, merry Christmas to you and your family.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo