As I unwrapped my Christmas ornaments, memories inundated my mind. The yellow taxi cab with a Christmas tree strapped on the top of it was from a visit to my brother-in-law who lives in New York City and the delicate gold metal cutout of a ship from a visit to the same brother-in-law when he lived in Boston. The fragile white starfish prompts scenes of our fabulous family beach vacation to Gulf Shores.
Perhaps the most meaningful are the personal ornaments I received as gifts. My kids created several as they were growing up and thankfully their teachers included their pictures on some of them. Each passing year these become increasingly valuable.
My profession as a teacher lends itself to receiving Christmas ornaments as gifts. However, I don’t believe they are as popular as they used to be. My favorites are the ones with a handwritten name. If it was on a card, I usually attach to the ornament. Tonight, I unpacked this one:
The back is best, though. I had only been teaching for two and a half years when I received this. How I wish I could time travel and reteach those students! And yet, she said I was a great teacher. Maybe she was told to write that, I don’t know, but I do know it has been a treasured part of my Christmas tree ever since.
This Christmas, perhaps instead of giving things, you could give some words. Positive words. Kind words. Encouraging words. Words of gratitude and words of love. Most of all, true words. You don’t know how long someone will keep that card or note. Don’t flatter or exaggerate, just honestly write. It might be the most treasured gift you can give.