Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sure To Be One of My Favorite Christmas Memories EVER

Remember this post, a week ago? 
Well...
While I've been running around minding my own business, wrapped up in my own life with five children in the busy days of December. My mother has been sewing, and crafting, and sewing and crafting, and then doing a little more sewing.

Tonight when I walked into her kitchen to deliver my five children for a gingerbread decorating party, 
THIS WAS HANGING UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(The angels, star and baby Jesus are removable, and should wait to be placed on Christmas Day.)

For a split second, I thought somehow she had performed some sort of Christmas miracle and found the Mary and Joseph advent calendar from my childhood. I can't even begin to describe the feelings I felt in those brief seconds of seeing it hanging there on her door. I felt sheer joy at seeing what I thought was only ever going to be a memory in my mind. For another split second, I thought my mother had made it for herself and was sorely disappointed to think she imagined she and my dad enjoying such an advent. Then I caught a glimpse of the little tag on the side with my name on it and realized it was mine. 
MINE!! 

My mother spent the last week in a labor of love. And I mean that quite literally. That advent has a lot of intricate details, and a lot of small pieces. I'm fairly certain she cursed my name several times throughout the project and probably more than once questioned exactly what she got herself into. Hopefully my reaction (it was quite loud, and just about had me in full-blown tears), was well worth her efforts. 

It is such a sincere, heartfelt gift and is something I will treasure every Christmas season. 
After the oohing and aahing had settled down, my dad mentioned they had been wondering what in the world would have happened to the original Mary and Joseph advent. We all surmised that it probably became yellowed, faded and well-worn over the years, and nobody thought twice about tossing it.

Even if I had known as a teenager my parents were tossing the calendar, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. Perhaps enough years hadn't passed for the Nativity advent to have made its way into my heart. Never once during all those December mornings as a child, as I moved Mary and Joseph closer to Bethlehem, did I think the calendar would one day be a treasured memory from my past.  It makes me wonder about how many everyday items we own now, that may end up becoming sentimental treasures and nostalgic remembrances.

I have no idea what makes today's everyday items become tomorrow's treasures, but I know without a doubt, this advent calendar is a treasure I will keep for as long as I live. No matter how yellowed, faded or well-worn it may become.

(And for the record, this is my advent calendar. This year at least, for the few days remaining until Christmas, I WILL be the one to move Mary and Joseph forward each morning.)






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