Christmas Decorating: Take Two




Last week I wrote how my well-laid plans for setting up the Christmas tree and decorating had gone awry.

I thought I was ready to pull out the old ornaments with the old feelings and forge ahead.

I was wrong.

But yesterday, after gazing at the “lights only” tree for all these days, I decided to make another go at it.

I packed up the tear-inducing decorations and stored them safely away.  I pulled out the box of ornaments I used last year-mostly new things I bought or made since Dominic left for Heaven.

Each group of ornaments was chosen because it helps me hold on to hope.

I have hearts-stuffed, handsewn hearts, papier mache hearts, corrugated cardboard hearts.

Lots of hearts.  


Hearts to remind MY heart that it was Love that brought Jesus to earth.  It was Love that kept Him here.  It was Love that took Him to the cross even after He had begged His Father in the garden for another way.  And it was Love that broke the chains of death and raised Him from the grave.


That same Love is keeping Dominic safe until we are together again.

Stars to help me remember that Jesus brought Light into darkness.  They help me hold onto the FACT that His light will not be extinguished.  They speak truth to my spirit that even though this Valley is dark, it will not last forever.

star-ornamentI made some balls from little scrappy bits of fabric wrapped and glued in place. The pieces are useless alone-not big enough to do a thing.  But together they are beautiful and strong and have purpose.  

My life feels like it’s been ripped to shreds.  But even shreds are useful in God’s hands. I’m waiting to see what He plans to do with them.

In the meantime, I hold on.

Old Christmas cards turned decorations are strung together and hung as visual prayers. I save my cards from year to year and cut out the lovely and meaningful pictures and scriptures.

I made my own paper copies of the Names of Jesus and burned the edges.

I cling to the promises in each Name.  I may reach heaven through the fire of tribulation and trial but no power on earth, above the earth or under the earth can stand against His Name.  


I will be preserved.

Little drums hang as silent witness to Dominic.  His heartbeat lives on in mine. His rhythm that thrummed through our lives and is missing now still matters.  He is making a joyful noise in Heaven.

He is not silent.  

One day I will hear him again.

So tonight I sat in the soft glow of the lights AND the ornaments remembering…

Remembering years past when life was very different-untouched by tragedy and gut-wrenching loss and also remembering the promise that this is not the way it will always be.



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Christmas Decorating: Take Two”

  1. Psalm 30:11 – That promise, like so many others, will be fulfilled. I am far more forward thinking these days. Forward to my hope for eternity – I try to skim over the immediate future. We will dance, Melanie, and Dominic may even play his drum for us! We will rejoice as never before. Exquisite joy, jubilation, happiness and an utter sense of awe and gratitude will fill us and we will dance before the Lord just like King David did! Can you imagine it, Melanie? I see you and Fiona there with me. I see indescribable happiness. I hear the echoes of laughter, high-pitched words of love and longing. I see hugs and kisses and hands clasped that refuse to be released. I see excitement uncontainable and I see humility in bowed heads and bended-knees as we worship the One – The One who made it all possible. And until that day, we will look forward with confident assurance that that day is indeed coming. It’s coming, Melanie! It’s coming!


  2. My fragile heart soaks up the tiny glimmers of hope you each express. Hope that we will survive. As Christmas draws closer, so does my dread. “How do we do this?” “How do we help our 5 precious grandchildren and 4 children enjoy our special time together without Annika?” But by God’s grace, He will make a way. He will hold us up. He will be our joy.
    Melanie, I am so very sorry that this is your story, but thank you for helping this grieving Nanny find her way in this awful darkness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nita-you may not feel like it, but you are giving your children and grandchildren a gift-the gift of seeing that love lives on and that broken hearts have a Saviour Who will help them keep beating. The tree, the lights, the gifts and the food are fleeting. But the hope of eternal life in Christ lasts forever. Annika had that-and now her faith is sight. She and Dominic live in the Perfect Light of Perfect Love. We are left to feel our way around in this half-light with hearts that long for healing. I pray that even here, even now all of us will catch a glimmer of the beauty that awaits us when we join our children gone before.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie, as I sit here reading, I got up to pull one of the two Fraser furs into my living room and adjust it in the stand, I take a minute to read your post. I was not doing anything Christmas this year. The last few years I had a Norfolk pine decorated. Plain and simple. No little ones so that sufficed. This year is our first without Joe. One of many firsts. How do we do this???? Nothing really matters it seems. Had my husband not brought the trees from his office Christmas party I would have none. But the tree reminds me of life. The life that Jesus gives us through His death and resurrection. I keep holding onto hope. Not quite nine months since his accident and I’m still in a fog. I will decorate and think on the life we had with our son, Joe and be thankful. Will bring the other tree and share it with my daughter and grandson, Ezra who is 19 months. He is our joy. Life is what the tree will remind me of. Life and love God has for us. Thank you for sharing. Your words always bring comfort and hope to my sad heart. Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anna, I am so very thankful the words helped. Oh, how we miss our sons! That’s not going to change. I keep trying to find ways to help my heart hang on. Yes, the tree reminds us of life! Death doesn’t win. The Light will not be extinguished. Praying for you especially these next days. May you hear the Lord singing grace, mercy and love over your hurting heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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