As it turned out, we ended up with a monochromatic tree this year. It is filled with beautiful silver-blue ribbons, bulbs, and lights. There was one single exception; a blast of color that was easy to see. At first glance the color seemed out of place. It didn’t come from a specific ornament; it came from a specific intention. There were several ornaments all in varied colors and styles spaced evenly around the tree making a stark contrast to the monochrome tone of everything else.
You see we don’t have a lot of ornaments that actually mean anything to us anymore. We have a few that have survived our many moves across the country. A few that were saved from childhood by our parents, and a few that our children have recently made. Rummaging through our Christmas tote, there are mostly three big piles of ornaments: generic, left-over bits, and purchased on sale. They may be pretty, but they have no meaning to us other than the fact that they are the decorations we put on the tree. We stuff them back into the box and forget all about them for the rest of the year.
The stark contrast between our colorful personalized ornaments and the generic silver ones served to illuminate the emotions attached to the ornaments of color. It showcased the varied family ornaments. The tree suddenly became a space that pulled us into the intention of family. Our tree now reminds us of our history, our family traditions, and our rites of passage. It is not just a pretty decoration this year. It has become a tool to lead us into positive space. And it was all brought about by my wife’s intention to put a little more family meaning into the process of decorating for Christmas.
Our personal example showcases an important idea. We have the power to intentionally create space. The activities we undertake and the spaces that we create can be uninspired and generic ones. They can drain us; becoming energy depleting work that we go through the motions to complete. However, if we place our intentions into them they can renew us and inspire us. If we layer our personal desires into the completion of activities it gives them and us new vitality.
Practice: If you like the idea of creating a more intentional Christmas decorating tradition. Try including a Christmas ornament exchange for your family. Every year you will get a few more ornaments that were given to you for a reason by someone you love. By making it a yearly tradition you will have memories attached to all of your decorations in no time. They will help create positive emotions in your space for years to come.
Remember: We need meaning in our lives. It keeps us healthy and inspired. You can be the force in your family that creates and maintains the meaning within your family traditions. All it takes is a little planning and a little bit of work to set it up.