I think back in my memories to my first Christmas as a wife and young mother. Our income was just above the poverty level (by ten dollars), but we were blessed by the church with a big turkey with all the trimmings, and a basket full of canned goods and basic staples to last quite a while.
My husband insisted we have a Christmas tree, and a friend brought a small white pine seedling from the woods nearby. We had no money for decorations, so I hung the cards we had received from family and friends on it. I thought it was beautiful with the religious pictures of the manger, shepherds, angels, and winter scenes of Santas and snowmen, and all the love the cards expressed.
The day after Christmas my husband bought some half-price miniature gold and green balls to add to the tree and make it complete.
There were other Christmases with much bigger trees with lights, and lots of colored balls, tinsel, and decorations made by the children. Sadly, my husband lived to share only fourteen more Christmases with us, when he passed away suddenly leaving us brokenhearted.
I still have those tiny gold and green balls and maybe a few of those long-ago cards, too. I look at them and remember the love from family and friends and for each other. Love, that’s what that little Christmas tree still means to me.
—Bernadette R. Gentry