I looked at my beautiful Christmas tree and sighed. It was time. The New Year was a week
old and my tree still stood in the corner of our room with its collection of memories
proudly displayed in a shower of colorful lights. I'd procrastinated long enough.
I got up, went to the garage and hauled all the boxes into the room. The garland was the
first to come down. The tree looked naked already. I took the large ornaments off next.
They made a large pile on our bed. An hour later, our bed was covered with Christmas
memories. Each pile contained an ornament along with its matching brothers and sisters from
sets purchased many years ago.
I prepared the boxes and carefully placed ornaments in their protective packaging, pausing
every few minutes to admire a favorite. "Hey, little Santa!" I held the Santa from my
childhood. "Thanks for being my friend for almost fifty years." He was a little ragged but
still gives me a flood of wonderful memories. —Until next year, my dear friend."
more than twenty years ago. Made by tiny hands, they are far from perfect in design, but
every year they go on my memory tree — memories of young giggles on Christmas morning and
a smiling face when they handed them to me when I came home from work. "Look what we made,
"Oh! It is beautiful. Let's find a special spot on the tree for it." Every year since, they
A few hours after I started, the filled boxes were back in the garage, the room was
vacuumed and I sat staring at a barren corner. The room seemed so empty. It took me two
days of work to assemble and decorate my tree, but only a few hours to take it apart.
assemble and decorate with memories, but can be torn down quickly. All it takes is an
unkind word or a thoughtless act, and what once stood proudly in the glow of love comes
Every year I have to put my tree away, but not my marriage or friendships. I take great
care of those. They get to glow in the corner of my life for as long as I live. I get to
analyze my tree and find memories for a few weeks every year. I can do the same with the
loves in my life every day. When I held the Santa, a flood of wonderful memories returned.
The same happens when I hold my wife or see the smile of a friend across the room.
Take great care of your friendships and your marriage. Once they come down, they aren't as
easy to put back together as a Christmas tree, if at all. Stand them in that special spot
in the corner of your heart and admire their glow.
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