Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Priceless Gift

I have heard about Jesse trees for about a year now. They're a different kind of way to celebrate advent, but very visual and interesting for kids. It basically traces the lineage of Jesus back to Adam w/ really neat symbols and Bible verses.

I got an email awhile ago from a friend that said she was putting together a Jesse Tree ornament exchange. You pick your symbol, make 28 of the same ornament, and trade them amongst friends so everyone goes home with a completed tree. My first thought was "oh heck no. I don't do crafts and I don't do 28 crafts. And I don't do 28 crafts in the middle of all this morning sickness and busy-ness. I also don't do 28 crafts with Ainsley anywhere in the house." Can we say disaster? Then there was the money aspect: I know you can craft on the cheap, but I just didn't have any extra pennies to put toward this idea this year. To summarize: not the year for it. I found some neat Jesse Tree printouts and so my plan (for NEXT year!!) was to just hang those on a tree and eventually trade the printouts for ornaments as the years progressed.

At MOPS on Monday the presenter (who happened to be one of the ladies involved in the Jesse Tree exchange) had the finished tree on the stage to show off to give all the moms ideas for ways to introduce Spiritual things to our kiddos around the holidays. I sat there looking at that tree, wishing I had just summoned the energy to make the ornaments so I could have one to do with Addison and Ainsley. Again, it inspired me for next year (or let's be honest here....the next year after that!)

Tonight Devin and I were having dinner with my very wonderful friend Alicia and her husband John. At the end of dinner she came over with a shirt box and said "This is a Christmas present from the Hansens to the Rileys." I knew what was in there, and I started crying before I even opened the box. Inside were 28 ornaments from the Jesse Tree exchange. Alicia had taken part in the exchange and had given me all of her ornaments. The ornaments were all created by ladies from church that I love and admire. These ornaments will be in the Riley household for YEARS, and everytime I pull one out I will remember each of those ladies, and Alicia for so selflessfly giving me this special gift. I honestly can't think of a cooler way to kick off the Christmas season. I love you Alicia. Thank you so very much.


amybodde said...

That's so precious Marie! Great story. Can't wait to see you soon!

Carmen said...

That is wonderful! I love stories of people being so thoughtful and personal in their gift-giving. I bet there are some really cool ornaments in there too! I hope you post a photo of the final tree at Christmas time!

Angela said...

I. am. so. jealous.

Michele said...

i started crying while reading of alicia's gift to your family. i did the jesse tree - and loved it so much. it makes me so happy to think of you, devin and the kids sharing this. what a beautiful gesture by your friend.