This morning I got a sweet serving of holiday cheer while helping my daughter’s class make Christmas ornaments. The sun streamed brightly through the windows and skylights, and even though an almost audible buzz of excited energy filled the room, the children were respectful, polite, and focused.
We made two different crafts—paint-swirled glass balls and bottle cap snowmen. As you can see in the pictures, each snowman had its own personal brand of cheerfulness. And yes, that’s a button holding the scarf in place! I didn’t plan the project, so I was happily surprised to see this perfect touch.
My daughter’s snowman is now on our tree keeping company with a collection of ornaments from classrooms past.
Our tree is not overly sophisticated or coordinated. We don’t have a theme. What we do have is a collection of items that connect us to people—relatives, friends, teachers, even classmates from high school. Each year as I unpack the ornaments, I not only remember the people who have been part of our lives, I truly feel their presence with me. I relive moments I’ve forgotten about over the course of the year. As I look at the felt tree decorated with my mom’s old jewelry, the Eagle Scout pin reminds me of the evenings she spent as den mother for my brother’s scout troops. As I assemble our little nativity, I remember my father giving us wood from an old walnut tree. Years later my son was excited to use the wood to form a stable and even more excited when he found the shape naturally appear in the form of the wood.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to help with the ornaments this year. We’ve had a few things come up and I felt behind in all the holiday chaos. But I’m really glad I did. It was a chance to stop, be in the moment, and experience the overwhelming good that kids these days really do in school. It helped me get my priority ducks in a row.
Plus, now I have a really cool snowman!