Every year, a highlight of the holiday season is decorating our Christmas tree. I love the stories that emerge as we share and remember stories of each ornament that we hang on the tree. There is the ornament my preschool teacher embroidered with a green J, the wreath I decorated with dried beans as a child, the initials that hung on the first tree my husband surprised me with, the year we bought our first home, and the stars marking the year of each of my daughter’s first Christmases.
Then, there is Sophie’s angel, my favorite ornament on the tree. It was gifted to me ten years ago now, by Sophie, my then first grade student. I remember when she gave it to me, the proud look on her face as I carefully unwrapped the treasure. A Styrofoam ball with a beautiful face created with marker, a fine lace gown, all topped off with the most fantastic baby pink hair. Every year, as I hang this ornament in a prominent place on the Christmas tree, I remember the beauty in giving and receiving. These small treasures hold so much meaning, sweet reminders of our stories and the people that have touched our lives.