Christmas Reflections

Healing All Wounds During Christmas

There will always be trials in our lives that will break our hearts. Some of which are too painful that we don’t even know where to begin to pick up the pieces. Me and wife had our fair share of those. Some made us cry silently when no one is watching. Others taught us a lesson that gave us courage and made us into better, wiser people.

Christmas is about opening your heart generously, facing your fears and starting all over again. When things is at its worst, someone up there holds us with comfort and love beyond words with the palm of his hand. It is okay to let go and just surrender everything that brought us pain. Christmas is here and one of the best gifts we can give ourself are happiness and inner peace.

Christmas is about opening our hearts generously, facing our fears and starting all over again. When things are at their worst, someone up there holds us with love with the palm of his hand. Giving us comfort no words can even describe. It is okay to let go and just surrender everything that brought us pain. Christmas is here and one of the best gifts we can give ourselves are happiness and inner peace.

In all we realized that during the times when we felt so low, we have our family’s love and support that gave us the strength to endure all odds. That we have a God who will always accept us for who we are and lift us up when we had fallen on our knees.

Island Traveler 2012

Last Christmas was one of the most trying moments me and my wife had to go through. We did put up our Christmas Tree but instead of having the lavish decors, we placed around the tree all the Pokémon and Christmas cards my son made. Its simplicity brought more value than all the fancy decors combined. It reminded us the true meaning of Christmas.

Island Traveler

This year, we bought a new tree. We wanted to make a fresh start. A new beginning with the hope of making happy memories to outshine the bad ones of the past. Since the trees are expensive at the peak of this holiday season, my wife and I agreed to buy the 7-feet 50 dollars Christmas Tree we found at Target. It was the only one that fits our specifications on a budget.

Island Traveler 2012

My wife placed each Christmas decor one by one with much patience and excitement. She was finally able to hang on the tree all of her favorite decors we collected through the years. She looked so happy.

Island Traveler

Later that afternoon while we were all taking a nap, we heard a loud crashing sound. When we opened the door, we were horrified to see the Christmas Tree laying flat on the floor with broken crystal balls scattered all over the place. We didn’t realize that the crystal Christmas decors were heavier than the tree. My wife looked sad. I tried to comfort her by saying, “Don’t feel so bad. It was an accident. We will buy new ones.” She replied, “But they were our collection. They were part of our memories.” I told her, “I am saddened too but perhaps the broken crystals represents all the bad stuff that we were freed from this year.” She said softly, “I hope so.”

Island Traveler

The next day I redecorated the tree. This time I made sure I only put  the light weight decors. This time the tree stood up proud and tall. So was my spirit. My wife saw my finished work and liked the result. That night, we turned off all the lights in our home and just let the tree’s light glow to its fullest glory. It was beautiful. We all sat on the sofa just enjoying the peace, the love and the happiness of being together as one family. In silence I told myself, “Finally, Christmas is here.”

Island Traveler

Christmas is about giving and sharing our blessings. It is about thanking people for the smile they brought into our life. It is about love, forgiveness, of second chances and starting all over again. It is about renewing ones hope, dreams and faith. It is a time to reflect on the significant events we all experienced throughout the year both the good and the bad.

Thank you for sharing your day with me. I hope you enjoyed my version of the Weekly Photo Challenge called “Reflections.” May it helped you remember and reflect on the many reasons why Christmas time brings a joy in your heart.

What reflections have you made this Christmas season?


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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
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99 Responses to Christmas Reflections

  1. Laurie says:

    Oh, dear. I am sorry about your lovely tree. You did a good job of turning the situation around. The last year that we had a real tree, the stand gave out and the tree fell, smashing all of the ornaments that my mother had given to me from my childhood. Now we have an artificial tree every year and are free from worries about the stand. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Thanks Laurie. Sorry to hear about your tree and the broken ornaments. Somehow it makes us realize that like life, we fall and get broken but events like Christmas with our love ones help us stand up and once again embrace what brings us joy and just forget the things that caused us pain. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

  2. Roberta says:

    Well expressed and yes it is God that comforts and heals and puts the pieces of our shattered hearts and lives together. Lovely and truthful..

  3. What a beautiful and heartfelt post… as usual… as I’ve commented here before, I always come by, for a visit, and for some inspiration… it’s a breeze of fresh air… thank you for this sweet post, and for sharing these beautiful pics… even despite the [minor] accident with your Xmas tree, you were able to bring it back ‘to life’, in its full glory… Beautifully! :o Greetings from La Paz! Stay well and let’s enjoy this season…

  4. pierrmorgan says:

    Beautiful photographs and a heart warming story. Makes me think and reflect. Thank you.

  5. scrapydo says:

    Lovely reflection on your new Christmas. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your tree and good memories

  6. lulu says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful reminder that hard times are to be endured and followed by better ones. I find that to be very true.

    • Thanks Lulu. Christmas is a time to remember the blessings that brought us happiness and help us go through the bad. One of the priceless gifts out there for all of us.

  7. Amy says:

    You’re so right, it is about love, forgiveness, of second chances and starting all over again! I want to remember these thoughtful words. Thank you so much, IT!

  8. Your posts are so beautiful! What a great philosophy to say that the broken ornaments represent the bad things that were released from your lives! Happy holidays; I hope that this year is a good one for you and your family!

    • I always thought when something breaks, it breaks for a reason. That it is telling me that bad things are now broken and gone forever. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. kz says:

    what a touching story… and your newly redecorated tree is beautiful.. Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

  10. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful post IT. The tree fell, the ornaments broke, you picked up the pieces and started over again. A lesson we can all benefit from. I hope your holidays are the best ever this year!

    • Thanks Angeline. We do have moments in life that humbles us and make us realize we need others and that nothing last forever except God and his love for us. Merry Christmas.

  11. adinparadise says:

    I love the moral of your story. Your posts are so inspirational. The tree looks really beautiful. :)

  12. Cathy G says:

    What a lovely reflection! Even though there were broken pieces you were able to move forward with something new. A very poignant metaphor! Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas season!

  13. janna hill says:

    The sentiments and the photographs are very lovely. Peace :)

  14. “That night, we turned off all the lights in our home and just let the tree’s light glow to its fullest glory. It was beautiful. We all sat on the sofa just enjoying the peace, the love and the happiness of being together as one family. In silence I told myself, “Finally, Christmas is here.””

    That reminded me of a tradition we had when my kids were little. Every 1st of December (or around that date) in the evening we would put up our (artificial) Christmas tree, decorate it and then one of us would turn the Christmas lights on while another would turn the room lights off. Then the four of us would sit and look at the tree, kids on our laps, sing Christmas carols and be happy.

    Those were hard days, my [ex]husband doing his residency in Paediatrics and I going through med school. There were times I thought I was not gonna make it. And even if in the end we didn’t make it as a family (we went separate ways after 15 years of marriage), I still treasure those magical moments by the Christmas tree

    • That is one beautiful, moving story. Inspiring and full of hope. Christmas helps brings back the spark in our life that hardships turned to grey. It brings back love and joy which I think we all deserve, especially our children. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      • Yes, Christmas time is great. I never get overwhelmed or anxious like other people. For me and my family, it is a time to slow down and recharge, to share, remember the good times, forgive and forget the bad things and just be generally happy :)

  15. Imelda says:

    Oh, I am sorry for the ruined decorations. I understand very well how your wife felt. Years from now, the falling tree, ruined decor and your decorated tree will also be part of your cherished Christmas memories. :-)

  16. bulldogsturf says:

    Terrible to loose the old decorations… but maybe it is an omen of the good to come… love this blog..

  17. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m so sorry about your old favourite decorations, you wife must have been so upset, the new tree looks beautiful though and its a lovely symbol of hope and new beginnings in this joyful season. Merry Christmas!

    • She was upset and sad at first but then we realize that what makes the tree really special is the people who admires them. In the end, we get to laugh about our little disaster. Thanks. Happy Holidays.

  18. likeitiz says:

    Great post! I hope the future will bring sunshine and clear skies.

  19. misswhiplash says:

    You are a man who is not afraid to show his feelings, and those feeling show what a great person you are and how much you care for your family. It is a joy and a priviledge to have contact with you as each post that you write makes a difference to my life in some way or the other…..I just wish I knew you better…happy Christmas my very dear friend to you and your family and may God Bless you All with love and peace

    • Thanks Patrecia. You’d been a kind, generous blogger friend. I would love to one day meet you in person when by chance me and my family ventures at your side of the world. God bless you and your family always. Merry Christmas!

  20. cuhullen says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for sharing yours with me.

    • Bro, it’s a joy to share them. It somehow makes us all realize that we are not alone in this life with the trials we go through everyday. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  21. As always, but even more so, this story was gripping. The photos are expressive and yes, I thought that too. Broken ornaments, old disgarded bad memories. New baubles. New memories. Reflect on a new and fabulous beginning. Happy Holidays. :-)

  22. starlight says:

    your christmas tree radiates with warmth, love and happiness.. happy holidays to you and your family..

  23. One of the very best photos for this week’s challenge and I love your words, beautiful ending :)

  24. I am inspired by your story. Sometimes it seems life will deal you one blow after another, this year has been like that. As you have so beautifully shown; The important thing is attitude and picking up the pieces and starting over.
    Your tree is lovely. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I wish you all well.

    • Thank you. That is so true. Life is feeling alive and that includes experiencing heartaches along the way. What matters is we face them with courage each time with the people we love. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  25. Northern Narratives says:

    Merry Christmas and hope you start making wonderful new memories.

  26. restlessjo says:

    We always have a real tree, so haven’t bought it yet. This weekend, probably, and then it will take me hours to decorate it. I felt so sorry for your poor wife when I saw the shattered tree, but then you managed to put a positive spin on it, and bring a smile back to her face. Wonderful!

  27. While I would never have wanted your family and you to experience such disappointment, there are (as you said) life lessons that surfaced through the loss. These sorts of moments take us beyond the tangible into the intangible–the devotion and love of your family to each other. But that’s hard to teach a young child. Thanks for sharing such an intimate time in your pre-holiday season.

    • Thanks Sally. We made sure our son retains the joy, magic and pureness of Christmas. He sometimes miss our old house but he now he calls our new one “Home.” Christmas is about making others happy even with the most simplest of things.

  28. Colline says:

    Our decorations are very simple – and most have been made by my children over the years. Those seem to be the best for me as they hold many precious memories. :)

  29. Pingback: Christmas Reflections « SimplySage

    • Thank you. Your words warms my heart. This is the very reason I get excited during Christmas time. It allows me to recapture the joys of my childhood when everything was simple, pure , untarnished. I remember opening my presents, of being around my siblings and parents but what I can’t forget is the happiness that no words could ever describe. Just like what you wrote, ““Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  30. dadirri7 says:

    your story is happy and sad, i hope this is truly wonderful happy christmas for you and your wife and son … we cut a small tree from the bushland just a few days before christmas and the children decorate it with some tinsel and home-made baubles, some pretty shells for the beach, and sometimes they bring their own lights …. then a few days afterwards we take the tree back to the bushland to mulch down, thanking it for being the centre of our gift giving and family sharing on our special day of christmas! blessings to you island traveler :)

    • That is one beautiful family tradition. A tree that is more personalized and filled with happy memories. Wishing you and your family all the abundant blessings of Christmas and everyday. Thanks.

  31. Coming East says:

    Beautifully said, Traveller. We need to look at Christmas as the beginning of the year, not the end, and a chance for renewal. Hope your year ahead is a wonderful and blessed one.

  32. Beautiful photos for the challenge! It’s true that life puts many hardships on our way but in the end even though it hurts, it has been worth it all along. Everything happens for the best :)

  33. These pictures are stunning.

    What I’ve relflected on this Christmas season (so far) is that there’s no place like home. Strnage words from a travel blogger, I’m sure, but after missing the past two Thanksgivings and last Christmas at home, I’m so glad that is where I’ll be this year.

    I put a poll on my blog asking people where they’d most like to spend Christmas. I’m heartened that the predominant answer is “home.”

    • Thank you. Christmas to me is being with family at home. Plus after the late nights, nothing more cozy for that long Zzzz’s that our own bed. Plus I have to Sype family abroad. Merry Christmas.

  34. “Home” is that place for me. It has been a family tradition plus after the long nights, it’s great to sleep and just be cozy in your own bed. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  35. I have been there my friend – twice actually. Once at my mother’s and the same tree fell three times in our home until my husband discovered the flaw – a large knot in the center of the trunk. He cut off the section with the knot and then it was the saddest little tree you have ever seen, so he drug it outside and left a note that we would buy another when he returned home. My son and I came home and saw the sad ‘Charlie Brown’ tree on the sidewalk and drug it back in. Then we went to the forest and collected branches of pine, holly, hemlock, and magnolia to fill it in with and re-decorated. My husband was so surprised when he drove up and saw the lights flickering from inside. It is now one of my fondest ‘tree’ memories. This one will eventually make you all laugh when you retell it.

    • That is a beautiful and touching story. I agree, the one’s that seemed to be the worst turned out to be the best. It makes me smile how saved the tree and how you taught you son what Christmas is all about. As I read you story, I could picture you all having that amazing, unforgettable Christmas. Thanks. Merry Christmas.

  36. eof737 says:

    This is a beautiful post… I’m glad you salvaged the tree and redecorated it. Sadly, there is a commercial side to Christmas that is so exhausting… I wish all a happy holiday season but this year, I’m keeping it simple… Blessings!

  37. Freedomborn says:

    Hi island traveler, I do indeed respect you for your honesty, so many pretend to be Happy Clappy all the time with no cares or worries but the reality is we will have trouble in life and no amount of positive thinking will stop it but the good news is as Christians, it is never Laugh and the world Laughs with you and cry and you cry alone, Jesus tells us something different…..

    Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

    God does not cause our suffering or hardship but He does work it for good and as you said we can learn from it, I learnt to Trust God in everything and now know He never lets me suffer alone and always gives me strength..

    Ecclesiastes 3 :1- 6 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    We to are also to carry each others burdens, cry with each others and comfort each other and yes there is also a time to rejoice and what better time then Christmas to do so, it was when we received Jesus, our greatest gift.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforted us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

    How I wish island traveler that we could fly over this Christmas and celebrate with you and your family, we have come to think of you as part of our family and of course you are as part of the family of God. I have a message you and your son may enjoy about Christmas, I received it a few years ago, the link is below.

    God bless you dear friend , see you soon.
    Love from both of us – Anne

    • Anne, you are heaven’s blessings to us all. Your generous kindness and love overflows with each comment and post. I too consider you and Ron as part of my closest blogger family. Lately, no one , even in person gave me so much support and inspiration through their encourgaing words full of faith. When I was younger, I used to tell myself this words from the teachings I learned in school when times get tough, ” Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Thank you. God bless you both always and may the spirit and joys of Christmas be with you both always.

  38. Valentina says:

    Lovely tree, it turned out just gorgeous. The most important thing is the realization of being together as one wholesome unit.

    • Congratulations my friend. Your blog truly radiates everything and anything beautiful. Thanks for sharing the award. An honor and a joy. Happy Holidays.

      • Valentina says:

        Thank you so much. It is my pleasure to award you, your blog teaches family value. Enjoy the award and keep collecting stars. Happy Holidays to you and family.

  39. Connie T says:

    That is too bad your ornaments broke. I bought a lot of new ornaments at the Dollar store. They are beautiful to look at on the tree. One year, I got a live tree, a big one that I went out and cut. I decorated it and my cat decided to try and climb it. I was done putting on the ornaments when the tree fell over on top of me. It was heavy and hard to get out from under. I had to pick it up and put on the decorations again.

    • I’m glad you were not hurt. A big tree falling at you can be dangerous. Now I know I am not alone in this mishap. Another blogger friend had a similar story. Merry Christmas to you and your family. God bless.

  40. opreach says:

    Lovely reflection. Thank you for following.

  41. Haryo Wicaksono says:

    Hello sir.. thank you for visiting my blog and leave your reply..
    well, although some of your christmas stuffs are broken, i think your memories won’t be gone, because we keep the sweet moments in our heart :D.

    nice to meet you, Happy holiday for you and your family.. :)

  42. pixilated2 says:

    I have been scrolling down your home page and so taken in by your photographs that I’ve hardly read a word. You have a wonderful gift! Your sense of composition, of what makes a photograph lovely, or tell a story is wonderful. Thank you for finding me today. It has allowed me to find you.

    • Thanks Lynda. I like to think that these images are an extension of my memory. More when those memories starts getting blurry and I just needed to be reminded how beautiful life was no matter how crazy it becomes sometimes.

  43. Sunshine says:

    Your family tree is beautiful as this post and the reflections you chose to share. Thanking you for this precious moment. ;)

    • Thanks Sunshine. I have a mix of experience and emotions about the Christmas season and I think being honest to how we feel is one gift we could give ourselves this Christmas.

      • Sunshine says:

        I agree, Island T. but it is hard at times facing reality especially if it is a painful memory. May those who face hard realities be comforted in knowing His love regardless.

  44. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Miljo Anne

  45. Miljo Anne says:

    beautiful post you have!

  46. lifeofaministermom says:

    Beautiful tree!! I know it must’ve hurt to see your first one laying on the ground with broken crystal everywhere, but your positive outlook is just what your family needed. That season of brokenness is gone, and I’m glad all is restored!! :)

  47. Karen Wan says:

    You have such a beautiful blog. Thank you for everything you write!

  48. A beautiful story of your triumph over the hard stuff! God’s richest blessings on your family for the coming year!

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