JOY

Decorating the Christmas tree 
is a bitter-sweet experience 
for me. Three of my daughters,
 now married with children of their own, 
once relished the joy of the holiday preparations. They loved helping bake cookies and they loved choosing and cutting a tree with their daddy and putting on lights and the ornaments. 
Several different years when they were little we worked together to make sets of ornaments. 
One year we painted stained glass pieces. 
One year we cut  the nativity characters 
and animals along with seasonal words, 
like: rejoice, peace, gift, and Emmanuel 
from Christmas cards 
and we decoupaged them 
unto thin pieces of wood we had painted.
This little lamb has always been 
my favorite of them all.
 I felt sad about Christmas because 
I don’t have any little starry-eyed children at home and yet happy for the sweetness of the memories.
Taking the ornaments from the boxes, 
I held again the sweet lamb 
and I remembered 
JOY.

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