The hubs and I were married nearly 11 years ago in 2006, and we had an engagement period of about 7 months. We’re in the South y’all, and you know we love our PARTIES. My side of the family in particular will find any reason to throw a festivity. My sister’s in town? PARTY. That family friend of ours we haven’t seen in over 10 years, but bless her heart she recently acquired a kitten that was a rescue?! PARTY (okay maybe that last one is stretching it). This baffles my husband … why all the pomp and circumstance? Like any good man, he’s learned to just roll with it.
But back to our engagement period — the blessed event in which I would become Fleur Williams and we would be joined together in the the eyes of God surrounded by loved ones — sounds like a pretty great excuse to have as many PARTIES as possible! And we did. Gosh it was fun having a bunch of parties that were all about me. Gone are those days, but I have so many fun memories from that time.
Our wedding date was set in March, so a few months prior in December some friends threw us an ornament shower. I thought the idea was cute and would probably be a fun party (it was!), but what I didn’t realize was how precious those ornaments would prove to be year after year. Guests were asked to select and bring an unwrapped ornament for the happy couple’s Christmas tree.
The hosts accepted and hung all the ornaments on a little tree during the party. It was fun to see all the unique ornaments our friends and family picked out especially for us. Everyone put a little piece of themselves into their selection, and it really showed. I remember our first Christmas the following year vividly — we carefully unpacked each gifted ornament and recalled easily whom each one was from. It just made it so special, as if all our loved ones were with us as we decorated our first tree.
So here we are celebrating our 10th Christmas as husband and wife, and I can still recall who gave us each ornament from that shower. The LSU bell from my brother-in-law. The Christmas tree that looks like something out of Whoville from my college roommate, still a dear friend. The weird (er, quirky) Christmas nymph from my sister. And one of my favorites, a rustic, wooden ornament given to us from a family member who is no longer with us.
Each person who came to that shower over 10 years ago — whether they know it or not, my husband and I think of them at Christmas time as we decorate our tree. Some of the more traditional, maybe more “useful” gifts we received at other showers, while just as appreciated, have fallen by the wayside over the years. But we still have all of our ornaments.
So as we enter the holiday season, if you have any friends who are celebrating something — an engagement, a baby, a new house, a rescue kitten and you are itching to throw a PARTY let me encourage you to consider a Christmas ornament shower. It ended up being one of my favorite events during my engagement period. Or even better, we all know a family affected by flooding who lost most if not all their possessions, likely including Christmas decor — perhaps offer to throw them an ornament shower to replace what they’ve lost. What a blessing that would be!