A First Christmas


Last weekend, I put the beloved ornaments on my family Christmas tree. It was the first time I had every done this task totally on my own, and I have to admit it was rather fun getting to decide where each one would be placed on the tree. I could spend as much time as I wanted making sure things were spaced evenly or grouped together correctly without anyone accusing me of being too meticulous! I found that I did quite a bit of reminiscing, too, asIMG_3385 I placed those ornaments on the tree.

There were remembrances of sweet friends who gave me gifts.  Strains of music filled my heart as I remembered so many Christmas musicals I had directed at churches.  There were smiles as I looked at the snowmen as I pulled them out of the box and placed them around the bottom of the tree. (I have quite an affection for snowmen.) I relived moments and memories of trips and vacations as I placed ornaments on the tree from Texas, Italy, Ireland and New York.  I felt pride as I placed the UT and Carson-Newman ornaments on the tree, and I realized I needed to make room for a Baylor ornament now!

I also put those ornaments on the tree that have been there for over 20 years. Two of them say “Baby’s First Christmas” and they are dated 1990 and 1993 for Jay and Emily. As I placed those on the tree, my mind couldn’t help but think that this is another “First Christmas.”  This is our first Christmas without Daddy.  IMG_1738

If there is anyone on this earth that enjoyed Christmas more than my Dad, I certainly never met them. He thoroughly enjoyed handing out presents on Christmas morning and then wadding up the wrapping paper and throwing it at everyone; a tradition that continues through his grandchildren. The season has certainly been a little bittersweet for us this year, but I cannot lose sight that this is also a “First Christmas” for Daddy.  This is his first Christmas in heaven; his first Christmas celebrating with the angel choir and worshiping at the feet of his Savior. What a joyous celebration that will be for heaven and for Daddy.  I wonder if they have wrapping paper in heaven………..  🙂

Merry Christmas, Daddy.  I love you…….


About Tina Swaggerty Collins

Tina currently serves on staff at Ball Camp Baptist Church. A music graduate of Carson-Newman College, Tina has been active in church music ministry for over 30 years and is an ordained minister. She is the mother to two amazing grown children, who still allow her to be a nurturing mom from time to time. Her blog is an invitation to step into her life as a mom, a minister and a follower.
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