Reflections by the Sea: Christmas ornaments

Published 11:28 am Thursday, December 12, 2019

By Betsy Ore Glass

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. – Psalm 55:22 NIV

I thought about getting an early start on my decorating. We put up the tree and then it sat there for a few days, maybe even a week with just the lights. In years past I would have had the help of our children to trim the tree. There would be hot chocolate, half-eaten candy canes strewn about, my husband mumbling about the tangled lights and Andy Williams Christmas songs playing on the stereo as the dogs and cat fought for a place to lay under the tree. If it sounds chaotic, it was. But, I admit I miss all the commotion of this treasured family pastime.

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One by one, we opened the boxes and the memories came flooding back to us. The special ornaments like the plastic Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus that my daughter “borrowed” years ago from my parents’ tree and placed on our tree when she was four years old. Then there was the stuffed Easter bunny that has been on our tree ever since my son realized the connection between Christmas and Easter and decided that we should celebrate both holidays at once, or at least on our tree. The glittered gum balls from grade school along with the hand painted ornaments we made one year when we were feeling crafty were placed carefully on the tree. The tree was filling up with over 40 plus years of memories. I couldn’t help but think long and hard of where we had been and where we were going. Our life was spread out on that tree. There was the little white church that I bought for the tree the year I went through a serious illness. There were the ornaments that my husband and I gave to each other when times were lean and they were our only gift to each other. The handmade cloth stuffed ornaments that have lasted over two decades still looked good as new. But I couldn’t say the same for the featherless bird (thanks to the cat) that has had a place of honor on the tree for years.

Standing in the distance, gazing at the tree in all its years of memories and beauty, I was left with a wonderful thought of gratefulness that we have been blessed through good times and bad, through ups and downs. The memories of Christmases long ago continues to live on in the beauty of each ornament. The spirit of Christmas was there all along. It’s in the love of God and family. Love is at the heart of Christmas and God’s love remains the same even when there is change all around us.  He is the One we count on, the One we look to and the One we have faith in. The One who sustains us. God is there always, standing beside us in all times.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at or read additional Reflections at



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