Hands down, my favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the tree.
There’s just something about the smell of a beautiful evergreen mixed with the crisp winter air that really makes Christmas come alive for me.
And even though this weekend it was 65 degrees, and my family has switched over to a fake tree…
the sentiments are still there.
At my parents home we have two trees.
One is filled with antique glass balls that my great grandmother brought over from Germany.
And that is my favorite tree.
You see, ever since my siblings and I were born, my mom has been collecting sets of picture ornaments for each year. So every Christmas, it’s fun to go and look at all the old childhood pictures and reminisce about the “good old days” … aka when Apple was simply “Macintosh computers” and kids still played in the woods after school.
But anyways, this tree is truly a walk through history.
And for someone who is in recovery from anorexia, that is both good and bad.
You see, among those darling christmas photo ornaments showing childhood yearbook photos with missing teeth, and 90’s matching scrunchie/embroidered sweat suit outfits, there are a few ornaments that are not so endearing. Not so sweet. There are the photo ornaments of when I was in my disease.
Photo ornaments where the girl smiling back is unrecognizable: gaunt, hollow, and lacking life behind her eyes.
Those photo ornaments are a punch in the gut that remind me of the dark time, and the pain during my eating disorder.
So over Thanksgiving when I was home, my mom and I were putting up the photo ornament tree. And when I unwrapped the first ornament, I had the wind knocked out of me. Becuase there, staring back at me, was ED-me. It made me catch my breath. It was a photo of a girl who I no longer am. A girl who has been left behind.
And so I did something for the first time this year: I threw the ornament away.
That girl is not me. I mean, it was, but not anymore.
The girl hanging up these ornaments today is strong. Full of life. Full of love and hope. Firm in her recovery and alive in her faith.
We all have little things that remind us of pain. Or remind us of struggle, a failed relationship, a missed opportunity, a detour in life. I wanted to put the past in the past. Once and for all. The joy and freedom of the Now will not be infiltrated by any reminants of the Then.
Put on your new self, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him…Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your [old self]. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things.
Cheers to our new selves.