My favorite ornament

Each year, we buy an ornament for our tree, which has created this eclectic collection of glittery, sparkly things that sort of tell the story of our years.

For example, we have some handmade by the kids from various ages, there is an American flag ornament from 2001, and a brightly colored plane that was typical of the new style of our new house from 2005. This year, I bought a cardinal because it has significance for me. (Something I'll probably blog about later.)

But my favorite ornament by far, is this one. A mailbox with our name on it and a tiny package and miniature Christmas cards inside. I saw it in 1991 at a craft fair on the army base in Panama. The thing is, I couldn't afford it. It was a mere $7.00, but I was on too tight of a budget to spend that on something for the tree. I told the woman sitting at the table how beautiful it was and admired the hand drawn Christmas cards--which were completely out of my range--and moved on to find what I'd gone there for in the first place, stocking stuffers for John and Chase.

The next year, I went to a Christmas party for my women's Bible study. Still on the tight budget, I brought something I had made myself for the woman whose name I'd drawn. (There are benefits to being artistic.) When I opened the gift under the tree for me, tears filled my eyes. It was the little mailbox. The woman who had drawn my name was the artist who created them. She had no idea how much I had wanted one. A year had passed. We didn't remember each other from the fair. Included with the ornament was one of the hand drawn Christmas cards.

Some might chalk this up to happy coincidence, but for me it was more than that. For me, the little mailbox represents the year that God remembered something special I'd wanted and gave it to me. A little thing I know, but God knew what it would mean to me.

The best thing is that I receive the gift again and again each year when I decorate our Christmas tree.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall