A Christmas Treasure - Carol Krum
Christmas of 2010 was one that I felt would be more of a blur than a sweet memory, but God, in His infinite goodness, would breathe His love upon my life to remind me of what is really important.
Working 12–14 hours a day, traveling to two different cities, shopping, wrapping, baking and attending the family gatherings before Christmas had me in a blender of frenzy. We were leaving for Denver the week before Christmas and with so much activity going on before we even left, I made the decision not to put up my tree that year since we weren’t even going to be there to enjoy it.
One evening, I arrived home late from work, only to find a note taped to my back door. It was from my 16-year-old grandson, Austin. It read, “Dear Gaga, you will find a HUGE surprise waiting for you in the living room. Love, Austin - ps. I just couldn’t let you be a Scrooge this Christmas!”
Laughing all the way, I stepped around the corner to see the gift of all gifts! He had rummaged through my Christmas storage room, pulled out the tree and determined the decoration theme of his choice, as I have two! There before my eyes was the most beautifully decorated tree I could ever hope to see. It wasn’t done the way I would have done it, which was part of the beauty of the gift.
It simply amazed me that this 16-year-old boy would care enough to take the time out of his day to do something so tremendous for his grandmother. My heart was flooded with love and thanksgiving for the heart of this beautiful young man. All the memories we had made together came rushing to the surface in waves of joy, reminding me of how richly blessed I was to be his grandmother. My heart took a picture that night and I knew that it would be etched within forever. Little did I know at the time how very deep that etching would be!
The following September this precious love of my life died in a motocross accident at the young age of seventeen. Three months later, with the chokehold of grief gripping my heart, the Christmas season came rushing upon me whether I was prepared or not, and it was time to bring up the tree. With tears streaming down my cheek, I reached for the first ornament. Immediately, I was struck with the truth that this very ornament had rested in the hands of love just one year before. Suddenly, what had been an ordinary ornament became a treasured symbol of love in my own hand. Thus began a sacred tradition meant just for me. He gave to me his last Christmas gift that year, his gift of love and decorating my tree would never be the same again!
It has been seven years since the night of my sweet surprise and once again, it’s time to bring up the tree. With each ornament I hold, the memory of his love will continue to seep into all the crevices of my heart, overwhelming me with the deepest gratitude for having been blessed with treasures that cannot be bought. I cherish the sacredness of every moment while decorating my tree, for it is a beautiful reflection of the years shared with a most amazing human being who called me “Gaga”.
May you be blessed this Christmas with giving and receiving unexpected treasures that will captivate your heart, treasures that cannot be bought with money, yet hold a priceless value. When the festivities are over and your home is returned to normal, may your heart also be etched with memories made and love shared. For there truly is no greater gift we could give to one another than this!
"For God So Loved ... that He Gave …"
Merry Christmas!Carol Krum is the Partner Coordinator at the Spokane Headquarters and our resident encourager in joy.