Normally, our family tradition is to decorate for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, but we spent the weekend with my parents and grandparents, and so we weren't able to go about our yearly Christmas treasure discovery. I had to wait until after I came back home.
A few hours before we drove off for the weekend, I brought the decorations up from the basement.
That's not all of it. I really have a lot.
I was so glad to finally be able to open those boxes upon returning home!
Part of my Christmas decorating joy has to do with the ages of some of these treasures. There's a lot of history in those boxes.
|Made by my grandma in 1985
There are ornaments that mark important years.
|Perhaps the most important of all years!
Some decorations remind us of loved ones lost long ago.
|My great-grandma made this one.
All of these pieces make up a great example of reuse at its very finest. Unlike many other occasions, this is a time in which people reuse items that they've hung onto for years, regardless of how much or how little they make an effort to be environmentally responsible.
These decorations all mean something.
Some of them may be near to falling apart, yet we keep them, showing them off with pride, hanging them lovingly from a tree, or placing them on the walls and tables.
The state that they're in doesn't matter nearly as much as the thought that went into them, or the memory that's attached. They're all beautiful. They're all loved.
At a time that many people concentrate on how commercialized our holiday season has become (myself included, I admit. My Black Friday shopping post is a good example of that...), it's good to remember that there are so many non-commercial aspects, as well.
I mean, how many people run out to buy a whole new set of Christmas decorations every year?
Exactly... only the really, really weird ones with way too much money on their hands. Most of us reuse our decorations every year, not because we have to, but because we want to.
Finding ways to reuse items within our homes is something we should all strive to do. It's not only good for our finances, but it's good for the world as a whole. While singing about "...joy to the world!" may make us feel all warm and bubbly, it does absolutely no good unless we're willing to try to bring that joy to the world.
And deciding to reuse things, rather than throwing them in a landfill to contaminate the earth is one small step toward that.
No, reuse isn't going to save the world.
We all know that.
But every small step matters. Those decorations that you've been using for more than a decade? Those decorations matter. You're right to feel that sense of joy as you hang a shabby, frayed ornament on your tree, glad that it survived another year.
Add some extra joy to your heart as you hang it this year, by realizing that it's not only made a difference in your life, but in many, many others, as well.
Sometimes being environmentally responsible is accidental, and that's when it's indescribably beautiful!