Shattered This Christmas

Decorating a Christmas tree is one of my favourite Christmas traditions. This year we have a new tree. It’s spectacular. Probably more so because I didn’t let the children decorate it. They watched me decorate it and were granted the privilege of hanging a few decorations in specific spots. Yes, I’m that type of mother.

To be fair, I did let them decorate their own tree (our previous tree), I even allowed them to put tinsel on it – I’m not a huge fan of tinsel on trees. You have to have a special knack to put it on a tree and still have tree look tasteful, so I prefer to adorn the tree in other ways.

What my tree is missing is some special ornaments. In our pre-children days we travelled throughout the world. Whenever I can while I was travelling, I would try to buy a Christmas ornament to remember that country. A bauble with a camel on it in Abu Dhabi, from China, little Chinese dolls in traditional dress or another bauble adorned with Parisian landmarks. Unfortunately the world momentos from around the globe are getting fewer on our tree. Last year a Canadian beaver in an Mountie uniform had his tail severed and his toes chipped off. Poor little dude.

This year it was this.

This once was my beautiful glass Union Jack baubles from Harrods in London.  I had seen the beautiful ornament and purchased it imagining how stunning it would look on my tree the following year. What I didn’t think through at the time was it was very delicate and I was about to travel through Europe for the next 4 weeks. I hadn’t thought it through, but I worked around it. With great care I carried it through 9 countries on trains, buses, underground and over ground. Then on the 2nd night before we flew out from Paris, I left it in a hotel in Holland. I can confirm; there were tears over this mishap.

Five years later I returned to Harrods at Christmas time hoping to find another Union Jack glass bauble. I did! In fact, I found a box with two in it! Once again, it was transported with the utmost of care and this time it arrived home. Hurrah!

They have been lovingly hung on our tree ever since. Except last year. There was no way I was going to let two year old triplets anywhere near them, so they remained in their boxes. Instead, I delayed it a year until three year old triplets would get them. I had left them in the boxes again this year, but then big brother unpacked them, hung them on the trees and then the triplets had their way with them.

Totally smashed.

But do you know what? Small things. They were pretty and sentimental. But only stuff.

In Sydney on Monday the peacefulness we enjoy in our country was smashed. Lives were lost. Other lives forever altered. For some people this will become a pivotal point in their lives. For them there will always a before and after point in their lives.

I pray for those people. I pray that the memory of what happened in that cafe on December 15 doesn’t haunt them. That they continue to live their lives confidently and without fear. That our country protects them and our media is respectful of their experiences and their presentation the event.

I think of the two innocent people who were killed. Life can be as fragile as a glass ornament. A man and a woman woke up that morning with dreams, plans. With a future. Before the new day dawned it was smashed leaving the people who loved them weep in their absence. As a nation we mourn those innocent victims because stuff like this shouldn’t happen. People should live life and be safe. In Australia, in all the world.

Peace at Christmas. Surely it is more than a lofty ideal. I’m proud that so many individuals in our nation are rising up and demonstrating love in combat of the hatred that dwelt in one soul.

After all the central element of the Christmas message is love.

It was the love of God for humankind that sent a baby to the world. Because God believed the world was worth saving. Even in that era, there were ugly people roaming the streets, within homes and in levels of government. Even back then the bloodthirsty Romans killed one another in the most brutal and public ways. Yet even so God loved the world that he sent the Divine to earth. Sunday school students learn those very words, “That God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

So this Christmas, even though I know our world is filled with people who have evil in their hearts, I believe that if we keep love the central theme in each one of our lives, Love indeed will triumph. We shall continue our lives and live them displaying love and demonstrating peace. Because before there is peace in the world, there needs to be peace in each of our hearts.

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  1. Oh no, I would be devastated! I had a bauble break for the first time, it was a favourite but no where near as sentimental as yours. Love and peace for Christmas xx

  2. I am proud to be an Australian at the moment with the #illridewithyou campaign and the outreach of Australians to all members of our community. Such a devastating turn of events. I agree that we need to keep peace in our hearts. It is the only way.

  3. Well said and its so true. Malcolm Turnbull also said it when he was interviewed about it all the other day. It was love that was prevailing. Don’t you hate it when you let the kids at your special things. I always have faith that they will not damage it. 9/10 times this is the case. Lucky it is only stuff but ohhh the sentiments and memories attached to it….

  4. How the heck did I miss this post before Christmas?? So beautifully written Caitlin! I am so sad about the Union Jack baubles. I guess it means you just have to save to go back when the kids are a bit older? We put a pet enclosure around our tree to stop little hands from reaching the baubles and all the spare ornaments are contained in a wooden toy box Jacob made from High School that requires two hands to lift the lid because it is that heavy! As for what happened in Sydney last year, it was so horrible. And with Paris yesterday (or the day before?). Life is precious and each day needs to be lived gratefully. xx

  5. “Life is as fragile as a glass ornament” So true. So nice to hear that you kept on to the true meaning of Christmas

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