November 28, 1970
Nate’s final exam week was beginning to weigh on him, even though it wouldn’t arrive till January. His books had been closed since the day before Thanksgiving, though, and now it was Saturday. “I’ll need to spend a few hours studying before we can shop for a Christmas tree.” He said. “Is that OK with you?”
He’d been completely available for two days, so of course it was. Our official anniversary wasn’t till the next day anyway, Sunday the 29th.
“If I study hard today,” he said, “tomorrow will be reserved for celebrating.”
It was difficult to leave him alone as he worked so close to me, but I still had lots of Christmas gift-making to keep me busy. I was hoping to make holiday aprons for several of our aunties, so I pulled out the sewing machine and got to work.
We settled on a 7-foot bargain from Kmart — $4.00. While we were there we chose matching angel ornaments, our picks in the 2nd annual choosing of ornaments that would happen each year. We also bought one box of all-red balls along with red tree lights.
Once we got the tree set up, we reached for the shoebox that had been stored on the high closet shelf for a year, remembering the two ornaments we’d chosen on our first Christmas together. When we opened the box, however, we were disappointed. Though Nate’s ornament looked brand new, mine was shattered in a million pieces.
Only the gold star from the middle was still intact. It was a sad lesson about choosing decorations wisely, but we hung the little star by itself — as a reminder. Thankfully the angel ornaments we’d chosen this year were non-breakable. And it crossed my mind that someday pudgy little child-fingers might be helping us hang these same ornaments. So non-breakable would always be best.
I told Nate, “I’m so glad we had to live away from both of our families during our newlywed year. We missed them, but I think being by ourselves has helped us grow really close to each other.”
He agreed, and then we got “really close” once again… there in the light of our Christmas tree.
“A man shall leave his father and mother and be united with his wife.” (Mark 10:7)