Well, I had a blog written and ready to go when a newsletter from the To’Do Institute popped up in my in box. I took a minute to peruse it. There was an account written by Gregg Krech about how, for many years, his family have decorated their Christmas tree with gratitude. It was such an out of the ordinary, thoughtful, inspiring concept that I decided to chuck my blog (or maybe save it for next year) and post Gregg’s writing instead. A practice such as this can surely remind us of our blessings and how often we are the beneficiaries of good will and kindness.
“Decorating the holiday Christmas tree can be a great family activity. When our daughters were young, we designed an approach to decorating the tree which became one of the most mindful and enjoyable activities of the season. Both our daughters are in college now, but this tradition has served us well for fifteen years.
We first displayed our growing and eclectic collection of ornaments on the table, ranging from simple pre-school treasures to ornaments fit for the tree of a Russian Czar, and then took turns selecting and hanging one ornament at a time.
But before we would hang each ornament, we’d dedicate the ornament to a specific person. We’d announce who it was dedicated to, why we chose them and what we wanted to thank them for. A friend might get a snowman ornament in honor of the snowy creatures they made in our yard. An aunt might get an angel, in honor of her thoughtfulness and care. The piano teacher might get a miniature piano.
The ornaments would go up, one by one, and the tree would become a canvas of love and support. Each ornament represented the kindness and generosity of someone we know or have known.
In some cases, we dedicated an ornament to someone who was no longer alive and, in doing so, honored that person’s life and our memory of them.
We might spend 30-40 minutes each evening for 3-4 nights before completing this process. The decorating itself becomes a practice of reflection on our good fortune.”
Comments are welcomed.