Step by Step from Sparse to Plenty

Share Now

Our first Christmas tree back in 1975 was really quite pathetic. The tree itself stood nice and tall, reaching toward the ceiling of our rented duplex in Lexington, Kentucky, where Ray was in graduate school; but when we decorated it with our dozen or so ornaments, it looked pretty pitiful. I “enhanced” the decorations by purchasing a grab bag of assorted ribbons. I can’t remember exactly how I used those ribbons. I think I tied them into bows on some of the branches. This was not an assortment of Christmas ribbon, mind you, but a truly unrelated hodge podge. They didn’t add much.

Today I cherish those first Christmas ornaments: the few we purchased new, the few that had once belonged to Ray’s family, and the snowman and snowwoman I made out of L’eggs eggs. I showed you a picture of our snowpeople last year. They always go on first. Here are the “grand marshals” of our Christmas tree after we put them on this year.

Mr. and Mrs. Snowman
Young Snowman Ray and Snowwoman Charlene

My base for my snowpeople was one complete Legg’s Egg, one-half of a Legg’s Egg, and two styrofoam balls. I tried to make them look a bit like Ray and me. Our eyes, lips, and noses are the colored ball ends of straight pins. Ray’s Cossack hat, his belt, and the bottom of my skirt are made of black velvet ribbon. Our matching scarves are, of course, plaid satin ribbon. Ray’s glasses are a yellow bread sack twist tie. I trimmed the long edges of the twist tie until only the thin yellow-coated wire was left. Ray’s ribbon mustache is long gone; I have replaced it with one drawn on with a black marker.

A few days ago, I told Josh, our customer service representative, about our first tree. He laughed out loud. Today I love decorating every room of our house for Christmas. He could hardly imagine us with a handful of ornaments.

DSCF9353 (2)

We went from a handful of ornaments to boxes and boxes of them in the very same way that you are building your family. We started out small and simple and did what we could with what we had. We held on tightly to what we already had and added more. We did that year after year and then decade after decade.

Our children remember with smiles something Ray used to say when they were all still gathered in our nest. We often saved money and time when we were traveling by eating on paper plates while heading on down the road. When Ray was about to make a sharp turn, he would call out to the kids in the back of the minivan: “Hold on to what you’ve got!” One of the many secrets to growing in Christ and to building a family is to continue building moment by moment, while you hold on tightly to what you already have!

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises,
so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness,
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:4-8

Share Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *