by 4G Core Team Member Deacon Koren Lindley
One of my favorite Christmas trees to put up each year in my own home is a smaller one where all the ornaments are handmade. My whole family loves to reminisce as we take each ornament out and hang it on the tree. We talk about where it was made, who we were with, and we usually have a lot of laughter as we trek down memory lane.
A couple of years ago, we decided that our "big" Christmas tree was going to be a "work in progress" throughout the Advent season. Rather than put ornaments we already had on the tree all at once, we decided that we would create new handmade ornaments to adorn the tree with, putting them on as each new creation was made. And all creations were welcome! Whenever we had time, we broke out the craft supplies, the bells, the glue and the glitter, and we created. As guests were welcomed into our home, they also were invited to create with us and add to our tree. By Christmas Day, our tree was full... of both handmade ornaments and new memories!
Fast forward to this year's Hanging of the Greens at church, where we had a lonely lit Christmas tree in the fellowship hall. A couple of the kids quickly added angel ornaments they had made and brought from home and then we found supplies at church to make more ornaments. And that is how our Advent fellowship tree for 2021 was born! I can't wait to hear the stories and memories that will be shared between the generations as our church family and guests bring in their handmade ornaments and find a place for them on our Advent tree. As our tree fills up, I have no doubt that our hearts will as well.