Bill's Blog


With Christmas approaching this weekend and Hannakah already here, my wife and I are celebrating this holiday season by decorating a tree and a refrigerator.

The tree, of course, is our Christmas tree, prominently occupying a corner of our den.

The refrigerator is, um well, our refrigerator in our kitchen. The tree’s decorations remind us our family history. The refrigerator’s decorations remind us of many relatives and friends.

The tree is adorned with lights and ornaments collected over the past 41 years. The refrigerator is decorated with pictures we receive in the mail each day.

My wife and I celebrated our first Christmas together in 1981, a few months after we were married. During that holiday season I found a small plastic ornament that read “Christmas 1981”, and my wife and I hung it on our small tree in our first home.

A few years later, we hung on our tree an ornament that read “Baby’s First Christmas” and contained a photo of our first child, Will. His first Christmas ornament was joined on our trees over the next few Christmases with ornaments of his baby brother and sister.

Dangling from the limbs on our tree are colorful ornaments containing the symbols of our schools. There is an orange and white one for our beloved University of Tennessee, our Alma Mater where my wife and I met and fell in love. There are ornaments of Wittenberg University, Boston University, the University of Virginia, and Harvard, where our kids attended college and graduate school.

There are ornaments from England, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, China, Japan and numerous other places we have seen and experienced on family vacations over the years. We buy Christmas ornaments every time we take a vacation.

Our Christmas tree also features ornaments commemorating all sorts of events in our lives including weddings, graduations, plays, concerts, sporting events and even marathons.

When we decorate the tree each year on a night in early December with family members or friends, we are constantly saying, “I remember this! Wasn that a wonderful time!?”

Our refrigerator is covered with Christmas cards we find in our mailbox each day in December. We tape the cards up on the doors of the ice box (as we called it during Christmases long ago when I was a child.)

The Christmas cards feature pictures of our many friends with their children and grandchildren. Some of our dear friends have been blessed with so many grandchildren that their Christmas cards must feature aerial photographs.

The faces we see covering our refrigerator each December are of dear friends dating back to our college days, business partners, brothers and sisters in our church, and folks we have shared life with over the past 50 years, some even longer. We have even posted on our refrigerator this year our own family Christmas card, as it features the newest member of our family, our grandson!

Late next week we will carefully take down the ornaments off our tree, wrap them, and place them in boxes that will be stored in our basement till next December.

The photos will be removed from the refrigerator doors, and many will also find their way to Christmas storage. We have Christmas cards dating back over many years, even decades.

But before we take down the ornaments and pictures, I will enjoy spending some time each evening and especially on Christmas day, looking at and admiring them. And when I do, I will realize how blessed my family and I have been during Christmases past, how blessed we are this Christmas, and how we hope to be blessed in Christmases yet to come. (Thank you, Charles Dickens!)

To all you folks on my refrigerator, Merry Christmas, and thanks for the cards!

Posted by Bill Haltom at 09:00