Thursday, December 25, 2014

Emilie Hendryx | Spread the Christmas Joy

I'm going to cheat.

I'm going to do two memories - one old, one new. I figure, since Spread the Christmas Joy was my idea, I can "break" the rules. ;-)

The Old

There are so many memories I could choose from...the one time Dad made a mobile of ornaments for me...the Christmas morning breakfasts with Grandpa and Grandma...the early mornings where I'd get to open my stocking so Mom and Dad could keep sleeping...but, instead, I wanted to reminisce about getting our Christmas tree. And no, not the time the tree fell on Mom's head...though that was funny!

You see, we're most definitely "real Christmas tree" people. My parents have a Victorian house from 1899 and that means tall ceilings. I'm talking 12 foot tall ceilings! Because of that, our Christmas trees have always been tall. Majestic, if you know what I mean.

Yep...that's me!
When I was little, we'd all pile into the truck (sometimes my grandparents would come as well) and we'd head up into the mountains to find the perfect Christmas tree. There would usually be hot coco involved and, if we were lucky, snow to play in. 

We'd make it up the mountain, and then the search was on. We had to have the perfect tree. Symmetrical, tall enough for the room, branches wide--but not too wide, and an overall pleasing appearance. We're creative and artsy people...

Once the perfect tree was acquired, we'd pack it into the truck and head back home, only to decorate it a few days later and enjoy the warm scent of fur saturating the air for the month of December.

To me, the tree is not only an image of beauty and Christmas spirit, but one of togetherness. It was a family effort - we'd all debate on the perfect tree, help carry it to the truck, and decorate it together. It stands in our living room and creates joy with its warm, colorful lights, sparkling like the start that led the wise men to our Savor.

Redeemer City Church Christmas Party
The New

Today, the idea of togetherness is still as important to me during the Christmas time. Whether it's friends or family (or both), that's what is important to me. That is Christmas.

This year things were a little different. You see, moving to a new city isn't easy. You uproot your life and suddenly nothing is the same. The streets are different. The neighborhood isn't what you're used to. The people act, talk, and dress differently. You get lost. Maybe a lot. But, despite all of these changes, there are beautiful new things as well. A new culture to learn. New places to explore. New people to befriend.

All of the newness can be overwhelming, but that hasn't been the case for me in D.C. so far. The friendships I've established at Redeemer City Church have been amazing. Deep, true, family-like friendships. They've made this holiday season truly amazing and I am so thankfully for those friendships.
Jenn and I - she's skeptical...

As the years pass and things change (as they have to) it's such a beautiful thing to remember the past as much as it is a blessing to live in the present. I am beyond thankful for my amazing family, for my friends, and for my church family. I know I will look back on Christmas 2014 with fond memories!

Leave a comment below to enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Let me know what your favorite Christmas memory is!

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